Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Can We Stream Pandora in Our Dorm?

Dear Rich: I work at a boarding high school. Recently the administration discussed whether or not it was acceptable to stream Pandora (whether a paid-for subscription or a free subscription with ads included) in the dormitory lobbies.  I understand that streaming Pandora in the classroom as background music and not as educational material would probably not be acceptable. But what about in a dormitory setting? Would the dorm lobby be considered an extension of the dean's home and therefore the dean could stream her music for the enjoyment of the girls living in the dorm?  We doubt seriously whether any judge would consider a dormitory to be an extension of the dean's home. (Is that like arguing that a prison is an extension of the warden's home?) In any case, as we explained in a recent post, if there is no educational purpose behind streaming music, this type of public performance would not qualify under the Section 110 exemption. It would also violate the Pandora terms of service and would most likely require a Pandora Business License.