Finland’s Cabbies Face the Music

Navigating Finland’s icy roads — often in the dark — makes driving a taxi treacherous enough, but the country’s cabbies have to worry about one thing that American cabbie’s likely never heard of: music royalty fees. In 2002, Finland’s supreme court ruled that cabbies must pay royalties for turning their radios on in the presence of paying passengers. Citing that playing the radio is tantamount to a public performance, the court believed the musicians deserved a slice of the fare. Now, cabbies must pay the fixed sum of €40 ($23) each year to the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society. Needless to say, the judgment infuriated the country’s 9,500 taxi drivers, causing many to stop playing music in their cabs altogether.