The Performing Rights Society

  Jake_027 14:13 24 Dec 2007

I work in a small newsagents and have done for the past 3 and a half years. The other day, my boss received a phone call from click here informing him that if he played music (including that on the radio) in our shop we would have to pay them a license fee of £60 per year. Having looked at the above website, it does seem this is a genuine company but I have never heard of this before. Surely the radio stations have already paid for the music to be broadcast and it shouldn't have to be paid for again. And if it is in workplaces, does that mean that each taxi has to have a £60 license to have it's radio on. I'm not one to condone illegally sharing music, but surely this is taking it a little too far? The artists already get money from selling their albums and having music played on the radio, and even on their website it says they only support 50,000 artists so what happens if they play a song from an artist not registered with the PRS? I also fail to see how they can enforce this when they are not a government organisation. You don't get a leaflet with every radio sold informing you about them, so how are businesses supposed to know about them until they are contacted. I also fail to see how they can police this in so many shops around the country as well, it doesn't seem possible. I'd be interested to hear other forum members views on this.

Thanks in advance

  knockin on 14:28 24 Dec 2007

I'm sure this has been aired on the net already,hasn't it?
Your boss is expected to know what is legal and what isn't, in respect of his business.It shouldn't be spelled out with the sale of every radio.
He, presumably, feels his business gets some benefit from the use of other peoples work.
Why should they not be paid for it? The fact that it is difficult to police, doesn't make it either legal or desirable.
It's £1.15 a week for heaven's sake. Pay up or switch off.
Happy freeloaders Christmas.

  Forum Editor 14:31 24 Dec 2007

Yes it is.

The performing Rights Society has been in existence for very many years, and was originally set up to look after the interests of music copyright holders. The society acts to ensure that anyone who 'performs' music to the public has the necessary PRS licence. A PRS licence is required for playing music under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, so the society has the force of law behind it.

Lately the PRS has stepped up its efforts to ensure that places where music is played to the public have the necessary licence, and in my opinion it has overstepped the mark. There has been the well-known case of a KwikFit tyre shop being told that its fitters can't have a radio playing whilst they're working because the customers can listen in.

Make no mistake about it, the PRS is a powerful organisation, and they are liable to prosecute anyone who ignores their warning to get a licence. I have worked with the PRS in the past, and my advice is that you ignore them at your peril. Nobody should think that they can beat the system where the PRS is concerned, because you can't.

The definition of a place that requires a PRS licence is:

"Any location or premises, outside of home, where music is played from clubs to concert halls, from discos to dentists’ waiting rooms and from trains to takeaways. The owner/proprietor of the premises is normally responsible for obtaining a PRS Music Licence for the public performance of copyright music. whether the performance is played live or by such means as CD, radio, DVD, TV, karaoke etc, whether a charge is made for admission, or whether the performers are paid, a PRS Music Licence is still necessary."

  Jake_027 19:02 24 Dec 2007

Thankfully we don't play music in the shop anyway, but he usually discusses things he's unsure about with me and I had never heard of this myself. Infact it only came up as recently I asked him whether he'd let us have a radio to listen to in the shop. Surely the whole point of music having to be paid for is where the money for the artists work comes from. Anyway thank you for the comments as they are much appreciated and they've helped to clarify matters. I just wish that people who chose to "share" their music on public transport were subject to these licenses, I'm sure travelling would become a whole lot quieter :o)!

  pj123 12:33 25 Dec 2007

Missed this one yesterday but would just like to add:

The car drivers that drive with all windows down and the radio/CD/DVD turned up to maximum that it can be heard a quarter of a mile away.

Is that not classed as "broadcasting"?

We have one close to where I live. He arrives every night? at 1:30 am and then just seems to sit there with the engine idling and the stereo blasting out for about 3 or 4 minutes before switching off.

  dukeboxhero 13:29 25 Dec 2007

Does this mean that if i have a party and plan to play music at it i need to have a license ?
not only that i am a taxi driver who likes to play my music this could cost me a fortune,
surely this is taking it a little too far? it sure is and to think people get paid to think these things up.

  interzone55 20:22 25 Dec 2007

No need to panic, for home use there is no need for a licence.

For taxis on the other hand there is a "modest" annual fee of £28.53 inc vat to play the radio, tapes or CDs in the the cab, as the passengers are your customers. For more info click here

  laurie53 07:02 26 Dec 2007

You may be losing customers.

I cannot be the only one who would not get into a cab which had music playing.

Not only might your musical tastes not be the same as mine, but I have a hearing defect where some sounds can cause acute discomfort.

  dukeboxhero 18:45 26 Dec 2007

laurie53 music only gets played if customer asks for it, As for musical taste if they dont like Ry Cooder, and Tom Waits well they can walk,
joking of course i have a wide range of music from classical to rock

  WhiteTruckMan 19:08 26 Dec 2007

that a part of your tv license constituted a permit to recieve wireless transmissions of any kind freely broadcast for entertainment puposes (as opposed to things like PMR, etc)


  Al94 21:24 26 Dec 2007

Where does the money raised by PRS actually go?

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