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Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Claire's Boutiques, Inc.

949 F.2d 1482 (1991)

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Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Claire’s Boutiques, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

949 F.2d 1482 (1991)

Facts

Claire’s Boutiques, Inc. (Claire’s) (defendant), the owner of several hundred retail stores, had a policy of playing radio broadcasts in its stores. Most of Claire’s stores were equipped with a stereo system, which included a receiver, speakers, speaker wire, and an indoor antenna. The systems were kept in storage rooms and were not integrated with public-address or telephone systems. However, Claire’s did not obtain a license from Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) (plaintiff), an organization that licensed public-performance rights on behalf of publishers of individual songs, many of which publishers held copyrights to the songs being played over the radio. BMI’s attempt to sell a license to Claire’s broke down over pricing disagreements. BMI and several song publishers (plaintiffs) brought suit in federal district court, which granted summary judgment in favor of Claire’s. BMI appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cummings, J.)

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