The Big Beat?
MIT recently announced a new campus music system called LAMP they say is perfectly legal and doesn’t pay the RIAA a dime.
I looked into this, and yes, they are right. It is perfectly legal.
Is this some great act of legal genius, like more than a few dim bulbs commenting on LAMP in the media would have you believe? Absolutely not. It works on the same general principle as (regular) radio stations and jukeboxes.
Under U.S. law, generally, record companies get paid only for the recordings themselves. They/RIAA do not get paid for the performance of such recordings. Other organizations get paid for that (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC). This is nothing new; this division has been around for more than a few decades.
If you have one of the more elaborate cable TV packages, odds are you have a number of music channels. That’s all this is. MIT has sixteen music channels in its cable TV network.
The only difference between it and the music channels provided by a regular cable company is that students at MIT get to play DJ. A little. Very little.