Hey dentists! Don’t stream in your office

5 out of 5 dentists agree that people don’t like going to the dentist. And yet, it’s an important part of life. Taking good care of yourself starts with regular maintenance. And so, dentists have tried to make the office visit a little more comfortable. They’ve added massaging chairs, soothing music, and you’ve started to see individual TVs attached to dental chairs. It’s all part of making patients feel better about doing what they need to do.

There’s only one problem, well two

I’ve heard that more and more dentists are streaming video to those TVs instead of using an antenna or satellite TV service. I can see where it would make sense to them. Bringing in TV costs money, while modern offices are already equipped with Wi-Fi and wired internet. Most folks don’t mind seeing a Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars movie. So it sounds like a win-win.

The problem is that legally, you can’t show that stuff in your office. There are two pretty big issues that prevent you from using a streaming account. And while they may seem like a low risk. believe me they aren’t.

The first problem: password sharing

Read the terms of service of any of your streaming accounts. I bet you didn’t read them when you signed up. That’s ok, no one does. But if you do read it, you find that you’re not allowed to share your service with anyone else. And that means not sharing it with yourself.

Your streaming password is for your use. And by “you” I mean “you at home.” You can use it at work for your own personal devices, but hooking it up for your business is right out. It’s not allowed. Period.

But let’s say you try to sign up for an account, as your business. Most streaming services don’t allow business subscriptions. So that’s not allowed either.

The second problem: public viewing

If you use any TV service, whether streaming or traditional, in your business it’s probably considered “public viewing.” You know those disclaimers that used to come on DVD that said “public performance” was prohibited? You probably thought that meant like playing it at a concert hall. Public performance means showing it anywhere that people can basically walk in off the street. And that means your office, in most cases, too.

The reason for this boils down to how US copyright laws work. The owners of copyrights can be paid for any use. That includes private use, by the way. Generally, most copyright holders take a flat fee for every time the program is streamed or broadcast. It’s fractions of a penny usually. In the case of physical media they take a fixed royalty at the time you buy the thing.

But if it’s classified as a “public performance,” the copyright fees generally go up. Not only that they’re classified by the number of people that could be watching. A room that could hold 50 people would have a larger royalty than a room that could hold 10 people. It doesn’t even matter how many people are in the room, it only matters how many people could be.

What could happen if you stream in your office

Here’s what’s happened in other dental offices. They get a nice little cease and desist letter from an attorney. If they ignore it, there’s a nice little lawsuit, and you either pay in court — because they’re right — or you pay to settle it.

It’s not cheap. Some companies will be nice and ask before they sue. Others will just sue. And they’ll know where you are, too. Every internet device can be tracked by its location. So there’s no doubt they know you’re streaming in the office.

DIRECTV is a better solution

DIRECTV satellite is a better solution for offices of all types. Not only do you get great entertainment but it’s set up properly for businesses. You’ll pay a rate that’s pretty similar to what home users pay, and you won’t have to worry about those letters from lawyers.

The best way to get DIRECTV for your business is to call the experts at Signal Connect. They’re here to get it all perfect for you. They’ll explain the options, get you ready, and take care of all the installation. They make it easy!

Start with a call to 866-726-4182. Or if it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you usually within one day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.