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Twentieth Century Music v. Aiken

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Citation Edit

Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S. 151, 186 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 65 (1975) (full-text).

U.S. Supreme Court Proceedings Edit

The owner of a small restaurant used an ordinary FM radio receiver and four ceiling-mounted speakers to play music for its customers. He was sued for infringing the performance rights in the copyrighted music broadcast by a radio station. The court held that he was not liable because the restaurant was very small in size (1.055 square feet, with only 620 square feet open to the public), and he used a receive “commonly found in private homes.”

Discussion Edit

This exemption was codified by Congress in 17 U.S.C. §110(5). Congress indicated that the factual situation in the Aiken decision “represent[s] the outer limit of the exemption and . . . the line should be drawn at that point.”[1]

References Edit

  1. H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. 87 (1976).

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