PRS\PPL Music Licensing - Know Your Rights

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Azimuth, Aug 2, 2017.

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Is this a worthwhile thing to do for small business ?

  1. Yes, it's time to fight back.

    13 vote(s)
    68.4%
  2. No, you're wasting your time.

    6 vote(s)
    31.6%
  1. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,246 3,036
    The concept of a venue paying for performing rights was started by a man who spent an evening in a restaurant listening to the band play tunes he had written. He realised he was getting no payment for the music so he refused to pay for his meal.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
  2. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,571 864
    Scalloway - brilliant! I'll use this one next time the subject pops up AGAIN.

    Actually, the sheer ignorance from intelligent business people just amazes me. When you sell your wine and spirits, does any of that go to the brewer? No. They got paid when they sold the stuff to the brewery or wholesaler. They even know that at every stage of the chain, margin is applied and they don't care if it's sold at Lidl first cheap or in a posh restaurant at many times that price. People have licences for all sorts of things nowadays. Some provides rights to do things, some are legal requirements for a process to happen, and people make choices. If you buy your wines and spirits for resale, you have a choice of supplier and price in some establishments, but in others you are tied to the supplier and may even have a fixed price. People treat PRS and PPL as some kind of demons who are ripping people off big time. In truth, they are simply acting as agents for the owners of what you wish to consume. You can pay, or not pay - there is a choice. You can not pay PRS/PPL and buy copyright free music. The people who own the music can even set crazy rules if they wish. If you had a themed night in your restaurant, and dressed the waiters in circus costumes and played music from the Greatest Showman - a payment to PRS will not stop Disney banging on your door if they so wish. Those songs coupled with circus costumes are banned, and like Getty Images, they are very happy to enforce it. If again, like Getty, you have already done the deed, then expect litigation. The 'assumption' you could do it can cost you dearly.

    Scalloway's comment is not just a made up example. It happens quite a lot, and PRS and PPL have the facility for copyright owners to put in a manual claim, as so much now is done on stats rather than real reporting. Rights can be very expensive. In a theatre (licences premises for booze with the silly cheap licence annually) if they take £20K at the box office for a non-stop music show, then they can expect to pay 1% of that to PRS for the night - multiply that one up for a yearly total.

    I've yet to hear a single argument to how better pay the people for the music they produce. A few years back, the big names stopped touring as they got more income from sales of CDs, now CD sales are falling quickly, and on-line streaming services do their stuff. Trouble is the income from millions of downloads can be OK, but for those with a few thousand, it's such a tiny amount that as income, it's no good to live on. Hence the rise in touring again. The booze analogy is quite a good one because it is customer choice driven. If you charge more for the drinks, but have a place people want to come to, it works. The price of a gin and tonic in some bars would buy you a bottle in Tesco - but people are willing to pay it. You can hardly compare background music with booze. Playing the Worzels non-stop might lose you trade, but playing a Spotify feed is not going to gain you customers compared to another venues different Spotify feed. Most people use wholesalers - places to buy everything. Is PRS not a wholesaler of music? You are perfectly free to decide it's too much and stop using them. What you cannot expect is to set the price. Imagine talking to the brewery and telling them they're too expensive and you demand to have the beer at 25% of the list price. Music is a consumable commodity that is entitled to be traded in the same way as a bottle of beer. Spotify is a bit like sale or return. Use whatever you like - but you need to licence it, just like beer!

    All these posts and not one viable alternative has been created, just endless complaints about how unfair it is ....... to the consumer, never the producer.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,316 1,194
    So if you can't have a silent restaurant what yield does the music bring?

    Not sure about your pay cuts across directors comment - business having trouble?

    Music researcher coming to premises? Sounds like the company utilising someone able to do something rather than spend the money internally to do the work. Companies appear to often buy in services from outside themselves if not able to do the work themselves.
    Researcher presumably able to travel within an area and isn't needing to be recruited, employed then later sacked by the company itself.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  4. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,571 864
    Indeed - don't forget PRS have members, very willing to do this kind off thing for the benefit of the members as a whole. In entertainment, it's a very effective network.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  5. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    7,822 3,040
    This!

    Recording a single song at a professional level costs about £50,000 and about £500k to promote, if you want a hit in the UK and $3m in the US. Just listening to it costs the producer nothing, so I want it for free!

    Beer costs about 5p a pint to produce, 10p for a decent pint, so I want a pint or real ale for 10p.

    Steak and chips with side orders of veg and salad - that's just £8 worth of produce, if that, so I want it for £8.

    A bottle of good table wine costs £1 to £2 to produce, so I expect to get it for that price.

    A good bottle of classic vintage Piesport Eiswein costs no more than £8 to produce, so I expect to be able to come into your restaurant and pay just that and no more!

    The marginal cost of software is zero - it costs Microsoft or Adobe NOTHING when you download their products. Now explain to them why you should get MS Office or Adobe CS for nothing. I'm sure that they'll understand!
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  6. Noah

    Noah UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    973 230
    Excuse the pedantry, but I would hate the great unwashed to think even Wetherspoons are ripping them off :

    Pint of 4% abv, beer duty + VAT = 50p, without any cost to produce.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    7,822 3,040
    That's only 25p VAT and beer duty for a micro brewery, so I expect Wetherspoons to sell me a pint for 35p.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  8. alan1302

    alan1302 UKBF Regular Free Member

    220 39
    Yes, you can. I'd prefer it as well.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: alan1302 Member since: Jun 2, 2018
  9. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,625 336
    actually you can, and they work well.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201407/the-psychology-restaurant-music

    "some of the finest restaurants do not play any music at all, reasoning—in my opinion, correctly—that, when the food is truly great, any extraneous stimulus can only detract from it. The music does an injustice to the food, and the food to the music."

    "At the other end of the scale, a restaurant that places profit above dining experience often plays loud music with a fast tempo that subconsciously puts diners under pressure to eat more quickly, even if that means that they are less able to enjoy their meal. But caveat emptor: such music also suppresses appetite, leading to less food and, in particular, less drink (and dessert) being consumed. Appetite is in part a function of the parasympathetic nervous system. Loud, fast music activates the sympathetic nervous system (the ‘fight-or-flight' response), which opposes the parasympathetic system and thereby diminishes appetite. "

    "It is very telling, I think, that, in general, we do not play music when eating at home."
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
  10. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,625 336
    Oops

    "Can I use Spotify at my business or school?
    As laid out in our Terms and Conditions, Spotify is for personal entertainment only and not for commercial use. This means it can’t be broadcasted or played publicly from a business, such as radio stations, bars, restaurants, stores, dance studios, etc.

    If you want to stream music in a commercial environment, check out our friends at Soundtrack Your Brand."

    So you might want to check up on that too.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
  11. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    7,822 3,040
    £324 for no-names and covers - that makes £390 for mainstream original recorded music a real bargain!
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  12. Noah

    Noah UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    973 230
    I know we're straying further off topic, but you might be interested to know that the case for small brewers' relief made to the government was to promote growth of independent brewing (i.e. savings would be invested in the brewery operation), and explicitly NOT for cheap beer.

    Sometimes reality strays from the ideal, of course.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,316 1,194
    Why do people set out to make drinks? To get some cheap drinks themselves maybe?
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  14. DavidWH

    DavidWH UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,236 221
    Anyone else had the unsolicted e-mail today, telling you they're going to call you?

    They've duly been told not bother, and because of them we choose not to listen to music in the workplace.

    I'm also curious as to where they got my e-mail address from :rolleyes:
     
    Posted: Jan 16, 2019 By: DavidWH Member since: Feb 15, 2011
  15. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,625 336
    i got one before Christmas, but they never called. Disappointing.
     
    Posted: Jan 16, 2019 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012