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.

    16 vote(s)
    72.7%
  2. No, you're wasting your time.

    6 vote(s)
    27.3%
  1. alan1302

    alan1302 UKBF Regular Free Member

    257 49
    Where does the 50p per song figure come from? I've found a £13.63 per minute figure listed for PRS.
     
    Posted: Aug 10, 2018 By: alan1302 Member since: Jun 2, 2018
  2. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,093 3,147
    Brain-fart on my part! Sorry! The figure should have been £11 per minute for R1 and £22 for R2. It remains an unreasonably low figure when we realise that it forms the very core of their programming.

    Radio sends less than £50m p.a. to the PRS and because BBC's audience share is falling for all stations, the sums paid fall year-on-year with it.
     
    Posted: Aug 10, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  3. Jeff FV

    Jeff FV UKBF Big Shot Staff Member

    3,527 1,661
    I think that there is significant merit in shifting more (all) of the burden for radio and tv on to the broadcaster.

    Why? To my (simple) mind there are two reasons:

    1.) it streamlines the whole system - no need to spend money chasing/charging “Bob’s auto repairs” just because they have the radio on in their 2 man workshop.

    2.) the second, and more compelling reason, is that it introduces a dilemma for the broadcaster that will act as a check on them fiddling their figures: if the broadcaster pays PRS (or whoever) based on audience figures then there will, inevitably, be a pressure to under declare those figures. However, their advertising revenue will be dependent on those same audience figures and there will be pressure to over declare audience numbers. As a result, we may end up with realistic numbers.

    Just FYI, I have no skin in this game, I am neither an artist or business that needs to pay. Just an interested£ observer.
     
    Posted: Aug 10, 2018 By: Jeff FV Member since: Jan 10, 2009
  4. danbumble

    danbumble UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Hi I have read all 8 pages with alot of interest and after I received a very harassing call yesterday I would like some clarification.

    this is from PPL own PDF doc.

    If your factory or office has an audible area of 100m2or less and you only use "traditional" radio or television broadcasts, you may be eligible for a concessionary licence fee of 50% of the annual fee in the 600m2 band. By "traditional" radio or television broadcasts, we mean only the following broadcasts (however delivered):
    > BBC national and local radio stations;
    > all Independent National Radio stations and Independent Local Radio stations (

    I have the following questions
    1) As we already pay a TV licence fee, the radio station has a licence to broadcast music with PPL then why do I pay twice to listen to a radio?
    2) if the radio is owned by an employee who wishes to play their own radio, do I need a licence.
    3) if i need a licence, how does PPL determine what radio station I am listening to so they can distribute the licence fee accordingly to the artists.
    4) If the BBC/Independent broadcaster has already paid PPL a fee for the copyright of the music and i have paid a tv licence, why are we being charged twice?
    5) if we have a CD player/radio and listen to any music pre 1968 or only listen to Classic FM ( i.e music older than 1968 ) then do we need a licence to listen?
    6) if we only listen to local bands which are not signed and bought their CD's from a local gig, do we need a licence.

    The man I spoke to was aggressive and insistent that we need a licence and would come down and check our business property, he was very threatening. He stated that if I have my personal iPhone that I played and someone was in earshot, then I need a licence. If i was in a company vehicle and played my music that others could hear, i need a licence, even if I own my own car yet was on business with a client i need a licence.

    I find the whole thing confusing, and the law states it must be laid out clearly.

    We pay our taxes, we pay a tv licence, business rates etc... this is just another tax that is unregulated.
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2018 By: danbumble Member since: Aug 16, 2018
  5. danbumble

    danbumble UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    ps

    our radio is tuned exclusively to LBC, its a talk radio station. do I still need a licence?
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2018 By: danbumble Member since: Aug 16, 2018
  6. mhall

    mhall UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,517 1,119
    I think PPL have either renewed their telesales contract or had some new staff in as we have had a series of very aggressive calls over the last two weeks. We used to have a license but stopped many years ago in favour of royalty free music (which still costs quite a bit up front but is a one time costs that gives nothing to these extortionists). After the third daily call we asked them to stop harassing us. Their response was "it's only harassment if I call you three times a day", so they are ignorant as well as aggressive. Their latest call was to demand to see "proof" that we play royalty free music. They really are above themselves. Bring it on PPL, I am being bullied by no-one and will happily see you in court on harassment charges - done it before and will gladly do it again, it will cost me nothing and will cost you at least £2,000 to defend. I love a good fight in the quiet months.
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2018 By: mhall Member since: Sep 8, 2009
  7. Davek0974

    Davek0974 UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,433 306
    They are very aggressive and also clever - they will be listening when they ring and if they hear music at all they get even more assertive.

    I have no qualm about paying a royalty fee for pre-recorded music say if we played Pink Floyd albums all day in the factory, but i have a serious issue about paying to listen to BBC R2 which is a public broadcast and they [BBC] would already have paid royalties so why should i pay again.
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2018 By: Davek0974 Member since: Mar 7, 2008
  8. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,694 360
    I got an email from them telling me that they were going to call and then nothing, no calls.

    Oh well.
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2018 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
  9. Davek0974

    Davek0974 UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,433 306
    No doubt they will, at some random time, one day...
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2018 By: Davek0974 Member since: Mar 7, 2008
  10. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,093 3,147
    1) As we already pay a TV licence fee, the radio station has a licence to broadcast music with PPL then why do I pay twice to listen to a radio?

    Because the money paid by you and the various broadcasters covers domestic private use only.

    2) if the radio is owned by an employee who wishes to play their own radio, do I need a licence.

    Yes.

    3) if i need a licence, how does PPL determine what radio station I am listening to so they can distribute the licence fee accordingly to the artists.

    RAJAR figures.

    4) If the BBC/Independent broadcaster has already paid PPL a fee for the copyright of the music and i have paid a tv licence, why are we being charged twice?

    Same as Q1.

    5) if we have a CD player/radio and listen to any music pre 1968 or only listen to Classic FM ( i.e music older than 1968 ) then do we need a licence to listen?

    Classic FM uses re-releases that are under new copyright - so yes.

    6) if we only listen to local bands which are not signed and bought their CD's from a local gig, do we need a licence.

    No. That would be the same as royalty free, assuming that none of the local bands had filed their music with MCPS, PRS.

    I wish you would, as the attitude they have is creating a great deal of bad blood and they need to see the necessity of changing the way they gather rights fees.

    The people they use are in some call centre and it strikes me as a counter-productive way to gather anything! If you are not using copyrighted music in a commercial setting, tell them so and then put the phone down.
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  11. glendahomelands

    glendahomelands UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Dear all, my husband and i run a guest house in England with 5 rooms and we pay a tv licence for the 5 tv we have, one per room. We don't play any music in the house, we don0t have any radio in the rooms or cd or dvd players. These guys kept calling us and sending invoices stating that we should pay for the music songwriters rights as they may be in the tv channels! this is crazy! we dont even have sky or other things, just the basic ones and no music channels....paying already the tvt licence we are covered but we d really would like to know if there is a law about it as nor the council or citizen advisor nor tv licence people were able to say something useful. They seem parassites taking advantage of people and we are not stupid. Please give us your opinion...thank you all!
     
    Posted: Aug 30, 2018 By: glendahomelands Member since: Aug 30, 2018
  12. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,502 3,102
    This is the official guidance from PPL on hotels ad guest houses.

    http://www.ppluk.com/About-Us/News/PPL-Announces-Revised-Small-Hotels--Guesthouses-Tariff/

     
    Posted: Aug 30, 2018 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
  13. glendahomelands

    glendahomelands UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Thank you for posting the above link for us. However we are aware that a PPL licence is needed in case one wish to have background music or so. We don't! we only have tv in each private guest room and not even music channels for we pay simply the tv licence! so why do they insist we should pay a PPL or any music lincense just cause of the tv? thanks
     
    Posted: Aug 30, 2018 By: glendahomelands Member since: Aug 30, 2018
  14. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,502 3,102
    As far as PPL are concerned it is not what you do, it is what you might do. Remember nowadays digital tv includes several radio channels.

    The quoted price of £50.33 is fairly low compared to what PPL charge for some services. The places that I have been involved with have had to pay several hundred pounds a year.
     
    Posted: Aug 30, 2018 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
  15. Dimo

    Dimo UKBF Regular Free Member

    102 17
    As I've intimated before, this whole thing is a farcical scam. If you pay them for your TVs in hotel rooms they do not and cannot have any clue who is watching what. They will get your money and have no means of knowing to whom royalties are due (before they take their 12.5% cut of course).

    I see no accountability insofar as any accurate distribution of music royalties go. I'm amazed so many people are falling for it.
     
    Posted: Aug 31, 2018 By: Dimo Member since: Jul 23, 2007
  16. Nord20

    Nord20 UKBF Regular Free Member

    490 110
    If I ran my business with this attitude to the people who are my customers, I'd be out of business in a week.

    PRS get away with behaving like this purely because they have a monopoly and people are all but obliged to engage with them (and pay them). Avoiding having music altogether is practically impossible (plenty of inadvertent licensable moments provided above - I love the 'if you're listening to your ipod and someone overhears, you need a license).

    In fact, the way the system works right now, if I stand in the street with a loudspeaker, I, as a private citizen, don't have to pay anything. But all the businesses that find themselves within earshot will be obliged to pay PRS a fee, as they having audible music going on in their premises.

    You gotta hand it to them, I literally can't think of any other product you can buy that you have to pay an individual fee for every time you use it.
     
    Posted: Sep 2, 2018 By: Nord20 Member since: Mar 8, 2011
  17. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,645 893
    People truly believe they shouldn't have to pay, so this impacts on their reasoning. Of course PRS are a monopoly! For goodness sake - have you never heard of individuals or groups using agents to carry out services they are unable or unwilling to do? You use an estate agent to handle a house sale because you really would struggle to market your property on your own. They get you your sales fee, and keep some of it. So do PRS. PRS have the law on their side. People steal music they are not entitled to all the time. Most are just ignorant. Some do it systematically. If you consume music you have no legal right to, then how could I as an individual take action? I couldn't. PRS can. I don't care if people feel indignant, or feel it is unfair. Tough! It is a commodity like everything else. It can be marketed, and it can be stolen, misappropriated, or 'borrowed'.

    Nobody reads licences. You buy a CD, and records before them and if you read the label, you find you don't own the music at all - you just have permission to use in in quite narrow circumstances. In a hotel, the music, on the radio or TV is still a controlled product and the TV licence doesn't overrule any copyright restriction. You're providing the product for people to consume outside of the terms and conditions of what the broadcasters have agreed with the owners, or owner's agent. Therefore you pay.
    You didn't buy it, you took out a licence but want to use it for non-domestic purposes. This applies as we know to photographs, artwork, logos, poems, typography, and other common things. OFCOM are a good example of a licence issuing organisation. Buying a licence to do a specific job normally prevents you doing other things. If you buy a licence for a radio in your boat, it doesn't allow you to use a radio in an aircraft. Nobody finds that unfair - they're different. If you buy a driving licence, it doesn't mean you can drive everything does it? When you buy a CD, you busy a piece of plastic. The music on it is not yours!

    I must learn to ignore these posts because they're so lacking in the basic facts. people believe in something so they are right! Even the vote in the topic makes no sense because the real legal status isn't covered. Pay your PRS fees, keep the musicians who wrote the music in business - and then pay PPL, who represent the rights of the recording studios - you need to pay both these agencies, and frankly - I hope PRS and PPL crack down on as many unauthorised users as they can find and show them that copyright theft is serious, and wanting something to be legal doesn't;t make it so. Many musicians who hear their music being abused report the place using it to PRS. I've done it a few times myself.

    Professional music users do it properly - I know I do. I understand the ignorance but her we have people who have been told how it should work and they either ignore it, or encourage others to deliberately set aside other people's rights. As I have said before, if a homeless person went into a shop and took some food because he was hungry that's OK? After all, the money wouldn't go to the grower, but to the big chain. How about a corner store, owned by a family? Would that be different? Is music different to food? It's a product. It costs to make it, and the person who makes it wants a return. Some people like to give their work away to anyone to do anything with. That's a nice choice for them, but their choice is not for everyone - and if I see people stealing - I react.

    Maybe theft is a strong word? What else would you call using something you have not paid for? You pay a few quid which is the price for a domestic use CD, but if you want to use it for anything other than domestic use, maybe the price would have been £50. You don't know, because you didn't bother to ask.

    Basic definition of theft. (1)A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

    Sounds right to me. You avoid paying for some music you play in your cafe, thinking they'll never find out? Sounds like theft to me!
     
    Posted: Sep 2, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  18. simon field

    simon field UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,946 1,471
    Sorry but that's complete nonsense.

    Three simple facts.

    The radio can be on but that doesn't mean you're listening to it.

    You're not 'permanently depriving' a band of the sound they made with their song.

    When you hear the sound of a band playing a song on the radio, it's an advert. It's how they sell records, you know - make money? Designed to make you want to buy the album (if you like it).
     
    Posted: Sep 2, 2018 By: simon field Member since: Feb 4, 2011
  19. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,502 1,328
    Would the radio being on not imply intention to listen to it?

    I don't know about you but lots of songs I've listened to on the radio (and still do) I've enjoyed. No intention of buying the song / music and no intention of attending a gig (Elvis gigs are so expensive these days in Des Moines what with having to buy his burgers).
    The music I listen to is intended as entertainment or creating a response.
     
    Posted: Sep 2, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  20. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,645 893
    More innacurate information. I wish people just read what PRS have on their site. Of course you are permanently depriving them - you intend looking at the records of what was on, and volunteering this to PRS? You used it. You forgot about it. You have no intention of paying. The thing is about making hot available for consumption - in effect, broadcasting, which is determined as one-way communication with no feedback. two way communications is not possible, so listening is NOT part of the system. The BBC transmit programmes, and you pay irrespective of you watching or listening - established for years.

    This is the ignorant response. The end product of the process is the music, giving it away for promotional use is a choice. Playing it to the public is the entire purpose because THIS generates the income stream. It is not advertising. Going back to the forties, promotional white label copies of new songs are given in very strict quantities to the people who might play them. This, and only this stage is the promotional activity stage. When you take out a licence to use music, these promotional copies are strictly limited in quantity, and detailed in the licence.

    It's fine - ignorance of the subject is so commonplace, I shouldn't get cross, but I make much of my income from music - mainly now downloads, and in my case paid for downloads, yet people still share my quite specialist music. People get download links, and very often one download takes place and then a couple of days later, people try to use the same download link, as they have shared it in an email - luckily these time out. The buyers mainly run dance schools, so are 'nice' people, yet one person spends fifteen quid, and then tries to give it free to her friends. When the download link fails, they no doubt send it to each other as mp3s! We live with it, cannot police it, and just grumble at these 'nice' people stealing my music. The only thing I have that is marketable is the music, yet people think it OK to share - presumably, like Simon - they feel it is advertising it? I certainly don't. I object strongly to people stealing, and frankly I cannot think of a more appropriate word, my property. The CDs say NO PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, then you go to an event and they are playing it to an audience of 1400 people, who all paid for admission. The percentage of the entire show that my music is - is the percentage of the box office income, so the fact that I would have received £4.75 is clearly not the point. Our PRS income is only going be to be massive if it was played on Radio 2. The money the end creators get is very very small - but it is ours!
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015