What are the laws regarding playing music and/or short clips of old TV shows in my store or restaurant?

If I create a DVD using short clips 20 seconds or less from old televisions shows does that still constitute copyright infringement? We want to be able to play the disc at our restaurant but don’t want to get in any trouble?

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Business Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. My experience is that if one uses without written permission clips from movies or music from the person or entity that owns the rights to such, that person runs the big risk of copyright infringement regardless of the length of the clip that is being for a commercial purpose.

Rather than run the risk of being in copyright lawsuit (which can be very expensive), I would write for permission to use the portions of the movies and television shows to use in your restaurant.

Good luck.

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