Problem of restaurant and music copyright, How to fix?

music copyright

In some cases, even if the song owners release their music to the public, individuals may still not have the right to play it freely.

This issue is not limited to just restaurants; cafes and various establishments also face the challenge of providing music to entertain customers without infringing on copyrights.

The problem arises when the owners or operators of these establishments are not aware of which songs they are allowed to play and which ones they aren’t. Modern music is easily accessible through the internet or various applications, making it tempting for individuals to play songs without understanding the intricacies of copyright laws.

Table of Contents

copyright is ?

When is copyright protected?

How to avoid copyright infringement?

Copyright Infringement?

Requesting Permission to Use Copyright

copyright is

copyright is Things that are legally designed to be protected but intangible, yet valuable and price, such as music, various branches of literature, various forms of art, design, and more.

In addition, ‘music is another work that is equally protected by copyright.’ Copyright is a recognized international commercial matter to give value and importance to the creators of these works. If there is a copyright infringement, the copyright owner can file a claim for damages or compensation for the copyright that has been infringed. Therefore, the use of others’ works must be carefully considered and precautions taken.

When is copyright protected

Normally, copyright protection begins ‘immediately’ when we create the work, and it continues for another 50 years after our death. There is no need to register with government agencies; we have copyright protection similarly. For example, if we compose and record a song at home, it is protected immediately upon completion. However, if we create something and keep it to ourselves, it might be challenging to provide evidence, so it is recommended to upload or keep a file that clearly indicates the production date.

How to avoid copyright infringement

When songs are released on the internet for free or even for a fee, it is for ‘personal’ listening only. It is not permitted to use them for ‘commercial’ purposes. Therefore, if we want to use them to support or help our restaurant business, we need to obtain permission or purchase commercial licenses beforehand. In this case, let’s discuss what to do if we haven’t purchased the copyrights to avoid these issues.

1. Check the list of songs you want to use to see which companies manage the copyrights.

* You can check this on the Department of Intellectual Property’s website:
* If there is no copyright collection mentioned, you can use the songs. (Choose songs where artists or record labels have granted permission for use without copyright fees)
* This check will help you determine if the record label of the songs you want to use collects copyright fees.

2.Play songs from a record label that doesn’t collect copyright fees.

* It is important to continuously check whether the songs have been copyrighted later on.

3.Use public domain songs.

* For example, Christmas songs

4.Use songs that are not protected by copyright.

These are songs that do not have any copyright owner or any certified rights associated with them. Examples of songs that are not protected by copyright include:
•. Folk songs or community songs that are well-known and commonly sung at social events.

Songs written by copyright owners, but the copyright has expired. This is applicable to very old songs, as copyright protection lasts for a considerable period.

5.Create your own music = No issues, and it’s a good way to avoid copyright problems.

Copyright Infringement

Playing music in restaurants, cafes, businesses, or any other venues without obtaining permission from the copyright owner,” whether from any media source such as YouTube, CDs, DVDs, or even vinyl records, is considered a violation.

This is in accordance with Section 31 of the Copyright Act.
Anyone who knows or has reason to know that a work has been created by infringing on someone else’s copyright, and distributes that work to the public for profit, shall be considered to have committed copyright infringement. The offender is subject to penalties, with fines ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 baht. If the infringement is done for commercial purposes, the penalty may include imprisonment for 3 months to 2 years or a fine ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 baht, or both imprisonment and a fine.

If accused of copyright infringement, you can take the following actions:

1.Check the Complaint Notification Evidence with the Investigating Officer:

The copyright owner or an authorized representative must file a complaint before legal proceedings can take place. Otherwise, the police have no authority to make arrests or initiate legal action since it involves a private offense.

2.Verify Copyright Ownership Evidence:

Examine evidence proving ownership of the copyrighted work, such as proof of creation, rights transfer, or authorization to collect copyright fees. This ensures that the accuser has a legitimate claim to the copyright.

3.Verify Power of Attorney Evidence:

Check the evidence of authority granted to the representative to pursue the case. This includes checking the expiration date of the power of attorney, whether it allows for specific periods, and if it was executed without any gaps in authority.

4.Proceedings with Police Involvement:

Legal proceedings should involve police officers, and business owners may be asked to provide identification to law enforcement officers.

5.Search at the Crime Scene (or Private Property):

Police officers must have a court warrant before conducting searches. The court warrant serves as authorization for the search.

6.Settlement through Acceptance of Compensation (Compromise):

In copyright infringement cases involving songs, parties can reach a settlement through accepting compensation to withdraw the complaint or drop the charges. If willing to settle, it should be done in the presence of the investigating officer, and the details should be recorded as evidence of the agreement. This should only be done in front of the police investigator. If we wish to avoid legal problems or being accused of copyright infringement, we should check with the Department of Intellectual Property’s website or contact the music label for verification.

Requesting Permission to Use Copyright

If the song is copyrighted, you should proceed to request permission to use the copyright. This can be done by contacting the copyright owner directly or reaching out to the music label for a licensing agreement. It’s important to note that you cannot request copyright directly from the Department of Intellectual Property, as they only serve as a representative for both parties.

You can either directly contact the copyright owner or the music label to negotiate and finalize the terms of the licensing agreement, including pricing and duration. The Department of Intellectual Property is not involved in this process.


To play music in public or in a restaurant, even if there are not many people, the restaurant owner should seek permission and comply with copyright laws.

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