iPod With Side o' Fries

By Richard Menta 1/15/07

Why is the world trying to figure out a way to plug into the iPod generation? It's because they spend a ton of money on accessories and frequent iPod friendy establishments. So while local municipalities consider laws restricting how people can use their iPod as they walk down the street or drive their cars, airlines and gyms are offer new ways for their customers to plug in. Coming from the Long Island Business journal is this one. (with a photo courtesy of ChipChick)

Billing itself "a new millennium hamburger stand" the the American Burger Company hopes to combine retro with new technology to modernize the jukebox concept. Instead of putting a dime in the record machine like you do at competitor Johnny Rockets, consumers put their iPod in one of a series of Logitech MM50 iPod speaker sets located throughout the restaurant. The company installed a dozen such units in their new Hicksville restaurant, hoping hungry customers will prefer to save their nickle and listen to their own tunes conveniently and for free. "We've yet to find another restaurant offering this perk to their customers," said owner John Tunney. "We're proud to be on the forefront of this trend."

A thought just came to mind. Since the music played at the booths will now come from personal music players AND since there is no doubt there will be a little bleed over of sound to nearby booths does that constitute a public performance? If that sounds like a silly question I say that because of the music publishers.You see, when someone puts money in a traditional jukebox part of that money goes to the music publishers as a "performance fee". It seems anytime sound waves created by a song they control the rights to comes in contact with the air they demand payment. I wonder of they will say playing your iPod in a restaurant for personal pleasure constitutes a public performance?

If American Burger Company's idea takes off those restaurants won't need to pipe in music anymore, which means they won't need to pay fees to the music publishers. That's why I won't be surprised if the publishers call American Burger Company's idea "theft" of intellectual property just to drag them into court and try to extend the definition of public performance.

Hopefully, such a thought is just a product of my cynical and rampant immagination.

Other MP3 stories:
Hollywood Contradicts Itself on Effects of File Sharing
HD Radio Effort Undermined by Weak Tuners in Expensive Radios


The Wi-Fi Sansa Connect is available on Amazon

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