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“FAIR”LY IMPORTANT MATTERS . . . . . . . . . . …………………………………………..



TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agricul- ture and Consumer Services Com- missioner Charles H. Bronson is urging consumers to heed safety rules on fair rides now that the fall fair season is approaching. The majority of fair ride accidents are caused by patron error and

many injuries can be avoided by following the rules posted at the ride locations. The department’s Bureau of Fair Ride Inspections is re-

sponsible for inspecting amusement rides at temporary events (fairs, carnivals and festivals) and permanent amusement facilities (go-kart parks and water parks) for structural and operational integrity. All traveling amuse- ment rides receive permits on an annual basis but, in addi- tion, each amusement ride must be inspected every time it is set up and must pass inspection prior to being opened to the public. Rides at most permanent amusement facilities are inspected and permitted twice each year. Florida has about 211 permanent amusement parks and more than 167 traveling amusement companies. The Department’s 15 ride inspectors performed over 9,500 amusement ride inspections in Florida last year. Historically, statistics show that reported accidents were the result of patron error about 92 percent of the time.

Attorney’s Corner by Lance Fuchs

MUSIC COPYRIGHT ISSUES Often times Fairs wonder if they need to have a license

in order for music to be performed on the fairgrounds. It all depends on the facts. Chapter 17 of the United States Code Section 110(6) provides for a qualified exemption from liability for a Fair during its annual Fair. However, there is no such exemption for the actual performers. Therefore, we always suggest that a Fair incorporate into its contract with the performer that the performer secure the proper licensing and indemnify the Fair for any viola- tion. This should especially be done for any off season events.

The remaining 8 percent were attributable to mechanical or operational problems or the cause was undetermined. In addition, since 1997 the number of rides that failed the bureau’s first inspection has dropped from approximately 60 percent to about 44 percent. Bronson believes the ride owners and operators are doing a better job of assembling, inspecting and maintaining the rides as a result of the stringent inspection requirements and scrutiny of the De- partment’s inspection program. “Florida has one of the strictest fair ride safety programs

in the nation,” Bronson said. “Our inspectors work hard to ensure the rides are erected properly and the equipment is in good working order but riders also need to be responsi- ble and follow the rules and regulations to prevent acci- dents.” Ride patrons should always observe cautionary instruc-

tions and consider physical limitations when riding any amusement ride. They should also pay special attention to size or age restrictions for children to ride on certain rides. Ride inspectors receive refresher training at least twice

each year to keep up to date on the latest inspection tech- niques, manufacturers’ bulletins and safety alerts. Depart- ment inspectors utilize laptop computers in the field as a resource to verify ride information on expiration of permits and insurance and inspection history. They use a compre- hensive 26-point checklist to inspect carnival rides from top to bottom to ensure maximum public safety. Fairs in Florida traditionally kick off during the fall season,

and Bronson says now is the time to educate the public about the need to follow the safety rules. For more infor- mation about fai r r ide inspect ions, visi t . For a list of county fairs and livestock shows in Florida, visit .

Below is the specific and controlling federal copyright

law: Sec. 110. Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of

certain performances and display. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the fol-

lowing are not infringements of copyright: 6) performance of a nondramatic musical work by a gov-

ernmental body or a nonprofit agricultural or horticultural organization, in the course of an annual agricultural or hor- ticultural fair or exhibition conducted by such body or or- ganization; the exemption provided by this clause shall extend to any liability for copyright infringement that would otherwise be imposed on such body or organization, under doctrines of vicarious liability or related infringe- ment, for a performance by a concessionaire, business establishment, or other person at such fair or exhibition, but shall not excuse any such person from liability for the performance.


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