Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 17)

A License for Freedom of Speech 

Source: Institute for Justice 

The excess of licensure laws reach a breaking point when they begin to violate our first amendment rights. The city of Myrtle Beach, SC requires amateur musicians, that play at bars for tips, to spend $100 dollars on a business license, more than they would make in a night. Playing music at a bar for tips isn't anymore of a business than street performances, especially if they only do so occasionally. The first amendment doesn't just pertain to political speech, although this was the main intention, it also includes other forms of speech and expression such as art. To hold music to a different standard than political speech is to place both in jeopardy because music is often used as a form of political speech; the historical examples are numerous. To require a government's permission for either is to abridge freedom of speech by giving government censorship power. If they can deny an amateur musician permission to play music in a private establishment where his music is demanded, then he does not have freedom of speech.

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