Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken

Citation: 422 U.S. 151
Docket Number: 74-452
Judge: Stewart
Opinion Date: June 17, 1975

Twentieth Century’s copyrighted songs were received on the radio in Aiken’s food shop from a local broadcasting station, which was licensed by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to perform the songs, but Aiken had no such license. Twentieth Century then sued Aiken for copyright infringement. The Supreme Court held that Aiken did not infringe upon Twentieth Century’s exclusive right, under the Copyright Act, “[t]o perform the copyrighted work publicly for profit,” since the radio reception did not constitute a “performance” of the copyrighted songs.

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