As you may know, it is illegal to play some content over your on hold system. This post will help guide you through the what’s legal, what is not and why.
The following is a brief primer on the various legal issues surrounding the use music on hold in a commercial environment. At the end of this briefing we will cover setting up Music on hold for your Switchvox PBX and also how to convert youtube instrumental videos to MP3 so that you can upload them to your system.
Non-Royalty Paid Music:
This includes music that is piped in over a radio or obtained from CD or online medium like itunes. generally this music is intended for private use and is NOT licensed for use in a commercial environment. by rebroadcasting this music over your asterisk system you may find yourself in violation of the artists copyright. Should you decide to do this the following may apply.
Music that you receive over the radio, or contained on a consumer medium (such as store-bought CD or cassette) is generally intended for private use only, and is NOT licensed for commercial use, rebroadcasting, or public performance.Should you wish to play a radio or some other form of non-licensed music over an on-hold system, the following applies:
Disclaimer- I am no attorney, this has been regurgitated for your perusal from many websites.
The Law By statutory definition, since a corporation or other company is a place ‘where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered,’ (17 U.S.C. SECTION 101) it is a public place for copyright purposes. Whether the performance is by the playing of a CD or tape, by a radio tuned to a particular station, or via music-on-hold (which constitutes a public performance by virtue of its being a transmission to the public), permission (called a ‘license’) must first be obtained in order for the use of that music to be lawful, and a fee (called a ‘royalty’) must be paid for such use.
The Penalties Under this law (U.S.C. TITLE 17), allows copyright owners to receive as damages, quite steep in fact for infringement between $500 and $100,000 – Depending on the severity of the violation.
Creating MP3 files for Switchvox from youtube.com:
In most environments you will generally hear instrumental music on hold. Often this is the case amongst Asterisk users. Having said that, Switchvox offers a way to import a codec that allows admins to use MP3 files for their on hold files.
The following .e4 knowledge base article will cover the setup of this feature and the conversion of youtube videos to mp3 format for use on Switchvox Free Edition, SMB, and SOHO
.e4 Knowledge base article