NO, it’s NOT Legal to Use Copyrighted Music in Commericals!

April 9, 2020

I’ve been a fan of Dan O’Day’s columns for many years. Dan tells it like it is. Recently, he wrote a column regarding the use of copyrighted music aka “popular songs” in commercials. Anyone who has worked in radio has a story to tell about the insistent salesperson who demands that a client’s favorite song be used in said client’s radio commercial. I personally have had this argument many times in many markets with many AEs, GMs, and PDs.

Typically, the sales rep will give you all kinds of excuses about why “this time it’s legal.” Reality: it’s nearly always a violation of copyright law. If you participate, YOU can be named as the defendant in a lawsuit. Dan’s comments should be required reading for anyone who does commercial production.