May 24, 2022

Let the Music Play

In what might serve as a warning to any consumer-facing business, Bournemouth Council had their YouTube broadcast pulled from the website in respect of potential copyright infringement due to the playing of music on the video when councillors were not talking. Keen local democracy followers who logged on expecting to watch the council’s overview and scrutiny committee were met instead with a blank screen.

The issue that the council faced was that YouTube did not think that they owned the rights to the music that they used and so were potentially breaching the copyright in that music. This reflects a wider trend of platforms such as YouTube looking to be more vigilant in respect of intellectual property infringements, however, on this occasion, the council have maintained that YouTube has made a mistake. A spokesperson for the council said that they did in fact own the rights to the music that they were using, and they were in the process of dealing with this and hoped to have the broadcast available soon. Avid followers of the overview and scrutiny committee will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief.

The issue faced by the council on this occasion demonstrates what businesses need to consider if they are broadcasting material, whether live or pre-recorded, namely, do you own or have permission to use the rights for every element of what you are broadcasting? In addition to this many businesses, particularly retail businesses, are not aware that if they play music to customers that they will generally need a license to do so and they could be met with a legal challenge if they do not secure those licenses.

If this story raises any issues for you please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or by email at

in: Case Law, Copyright, Legal News, News

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