Ananova reports that visitors to Leiden during the city's annual music festival will gain free entrance to the main car park if they agree to sing. According to Chris Verplancke, director of the 1,200 space car park,

"Everyone who parks in the building will be met by a presenter who will ask him to come to the stage near the bus stop and sing a song. It can be an aria from Carmen or a song from Madonna, but they have to finish the whole song. We don¹t accept just a few lines. We think a lot of choirs will be attending the event, so for them it¹s not difficult to give a performance. We have promised not to be very critical".

The IPKat, who has caterwauled a few melodic numbers in his time, wonders where the owner of the copyright in the song's music and lyrics fits into this scheme. Has the municipality of Leiden procured a blanket licence for the public performance of protected works (the identity of which will presumably be unknown to it until each motorist bursts into song), or is this going to be a glorious celebration of mass infringement? There are two issues to be resolved: the liability of the singer and the liability of the municipal authority both for hosting the event and (in the case of UK law, which of course doesn't apply in the Netherlands) for authorising the doing of infringing acts by third parties.

Free parking here, here and here
More on unauthorised public performances here and here
Historical public performances here, here and here
Sing here for your supper, for your life, for sex (here and here)

SING WHEN YOU'RE PARKING ... SING WHEN YOU'RE PARKING ... Reviewed by Jeremy and Ilanah on Thursday, February 12, 2004 Rating: 5

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