Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bizarre/Silly Music Laws

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There are a lot of sites out there that purport to list silly, anachronistic or otherwise bizarre laws. I thought I would compile some of them as they pertain to music and actually find citations for them. Never trust urban myths when it comes to the law! You might find yourself with a fine or in jail!


1) "New Hampshire law forbids you to tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe." - Thanks to Rob Dillon for the research on this one. The way writes it is a little misleading. The statute is N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 179:19 and states two important things 

On-premises licensees may provide entertainment and dancing, in clearly defined areas on their licensed premises, provided they have received written authorization by the town or city and they have provided the commission with a copy of that authorization.

 "Dancer'' means a person or a group of people who, with or without compensation, move their feet, or body, or both, to the accompaniment of music in a premises approved to sell alcoholic beverages. "Dancer'' shall not be construed to mean a person or group of individuals who perform dances based upon ethnic, cultural, or historical customs.

2) In Russell, Kansas, "Musical car horns are banned". This appears to come from 17-213 of Russell's code ( There are exceptions for parades and car horns are not explicitly ruled out. This seems to be a ban against loud music.
No person operating or occupying a motor vehicle on a street, highway, alley, parking lot, or driveway shall operate or permit the operation of any sound amplification system from within the vehicle so that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of 50 or more feet from the vehicle.
If you look at the rest of the code, it's clear that there are no exceptions for musical car horns...but honestly, I don't see an exception for car horns at all.

The closest thing I felt I could find to this was
The pushcart shall not have attached to it any bell, siren, horn, loudspeaker, flashing lights or any similar device to attract the attention of possible customers, nor shall the pushcart operator use any such device to attract attention.

5) In Indian Wells, California, "it is illegal for a trumpet player to play his instrument with the intention of luring someone to a store." Luckily for me, this one came with a citation.
6) Supposedly, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin "it is against the law to play a flute and drums on the streets to attract attention." However, I searched the city ordinance website and didn't find anything. I find it hard to believe something like this would be handed down from a judge, but maybe there is a case out there dealing with nuisance law.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

3. Glyn Moody on the Collision of Copyright, Patents and Technology

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mp3 audio | ogg audio | flac audio |Unedited Video

On today's show we had tech journalist and open source advocate Glyn Moody on the show to talk about the collision of copyright law and technology. We also sprinkle in some patent discussion for good measure. More show notes after the break.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chapter 3 - Duration of Copyright (in the US)

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A lot has been said about duration of copyright; most of it about how it inhibits free cultural expression (except from corporate propaganda machines like Disney). People get that copyright is used like a cultural water cannon, but most do not know the law. Today we hope to help with that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

LIVE: Future of Audio

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Congress is talking about the "Future of Audio" RIGHT NOW. This post obviously has a shelf-life, but I wanted to get the link out there. The EFF is tweeting live.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Today is a Day for Reflection

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This side of the Atlantic (and Pacific), there has been a lot of reflection recently due to Memorial Day. Both of my grandfathers were in the armed forces (though neither saw combat), but that isn't what this post is about.

All of my grades from my first year of law school came in today. I wouldn't say it was bad, but I wouldn't say it was good. I need to do better. My initial thought is that that means no Lawcast during the year. I (think I) can still pretty easily do MMP because Tom handles all the production stuff on that show.

The reason I am posting is to explain why there isn't a real post today (at least not yet!). I spent some time listening to the Life of a Law Student Evidence shows, since I plan on taking Evidence in the fall. Luckily, for those of you interested in copyrights and patents (probably those of you following, I plan on taking copyright and the first (of three) patent course in the fall. I also plan on taking Professional Responsibility and Criminal Procedure, neither of which have a lot to do with the Lawcast. Part of my reflection is and will be on how much time I'll spend on ethics stuff and criminal stuff, which aren't necessarily things that will interest those looking for information on Creative Commons music law.

I haven't run anything by Nick. There has been no decision. I just wanted to get people's thoughts on what the show means to people - or, more pointedly, what people think it *could* mean. We haven't gotten up a lot of content yet (it's just the first day of June in what I've always thought of as a summer project), but I'm just wondering if regular MMP listeners really see the potential. At the end of the summer I'll probably refer back to this post, but please post initial comments.