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Torture Royalties

We’ve tackled the future of music distribution and we’ve taken on the War on Terror. But what happens when the two intersect?

Apparently, guards at Guantanamo Bay have been playing David Gray‘s “Babylon” at all hours of the day and night, to distress detainees and soften them up for interrogation. Since this arguably constitutes a public performance of Gray’s song by the U.S. military, the government technically may owe royalties to Gray for the use of his track.

Will the military pay up or stop using the music?

It seems unlikely that ASCAP or BMI will try to collect the royalties due to them from governments that use music as a weapon: after all, nobody seemed to mind when officials in a suburb of Sydney, Australia started blasting Barry Manilow songs as a means of chasing hooligans from a public park there.

(HT: Wired‘s Listening Post Blog and Howard Knopf)