Few people know that in Thailand playing music in places other than private residences, working compartments, or personal vehicles can be done only with the permission of the copyright owner. Therefore business owners of shops, restaurants, karaoke pubs, discotheques, department stores, playing music in public, by means of a compact disc, record, cassette, tape, or performed live, must obtain a Copyright Music License.
A Copyright Music License is a license that the copyright owner issues for businesses to certify that the business has already paid copyright royalty fees to the copyright owner. The licensed business can use the repertoire (songs) from such copyright owner without worrying about copyright infringement.
The annual Copyright Music License fee ranges from 600 Baht to 30,000 Baht depending on the way the music is used, from background music in a pub, to telephone “music on hold”, discos in a club, to aerobics, and dance studios. License holders must ensure that they are licensed for the appropriate use or uses.
Persons who commit copyright infringement by means of reproduction without permission from the copyright owner may face serious penalties, including paying a fee and/or imprisonment. They will also pay for the destruction of the confiscated copyrighted material.