What About Singing in the Shower?


The British Performing Right Society has apologized to Sandra Burt, an assistant at a grocery store in Clackmannanshire. The group had threatened to have her prosecuted for not having a performance license after discovering she sometimes sings while stocking shelves. The store owner had previously gotten rid of a radio after the group complained customers might hear it.

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  1. Mrs Burt, who describes herself as a Rolling Stones fan, said that despite the initial warning from the PRS, she had been unable to stop herself singing at work.

    That’s at least one protected disability right there, maybe two if you count being a Rolling Stones fan.


  2. In related news a local audience booed the opening act of The Sound of Music as being totally unrealistic. “Why isn’t anyone arresting that woman?” Ms Grundy demanded.

  3. And Democrats want that kind of world, here…

    1. …not that Republicans don’t, mind you.

      1. Actually I don’t think either type of person wants that here, or anywhere.

        The only people who want to impose a private tax on private citizens for singing in private are those who stand to make a buck off of it.

  4. What do the Democrats or the Republicans have to do with it? The Performing Rights Society is a private organization seeking to protect the property rights of its members. This is all about the market.

    1. I think its often more extortion than protecting property rights.

    2. “Intellectual property” isn’t real property.

      Other libertarians would disagree with me on that, but what I think is pretty obvious is that IP as it is enforced now is broken in favor of the well connected/ wealthy resulting in a corporatist distortion of the market.

      1. In this case IP was mis-enforced.

        Threatening someone who is not being paid to perform in public for idly singing to herself goes beyond the realm of corruption all the way to pure insanity.

        They apologized to her only after their shenanigans were exposed to the public.

        Do they have karaoke in the UK, or is that too subject to interference by the state at the behest of a cartel?

        I’m all for IP, but I’m even more for fair use and common sense.

        1. They have tried to get money of people who listen to music whilst working at home.
          I think that virtually all the money raised goes to the directors of the British Performing Right Society rather than musicians.

    3. Just because government says it’s a right does not necessarily mean it’s a bona fide natural right. The “right” to work, for example, or the “right” to demand royalties from those who sing the song you wrote.

      Even if you think copyrights are legitimate, it does not necessarily follow that ALL rights granted to the author by the guvment are legitimate natural rights. The exclusive right of performance, for example.

  5. People sing all the time, but don’t sing enough death metal.

    About fifteen years ago while in a grocery store and I heard “Stairway to Heaven” over the Muzak system.

    Remembering that just traumatized me again.

  6. I wonder if the next step will be to elimanate radio stations and only allow people who paid for the music to listen to it.

  7. Godwined at the headline.

  8. I’m sorry British Performing Right Society, I’m going to let you finish; but, the Taliban had a way better way of regulating singing…

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