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Prs, Ppl, Wtf?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Davek0974, Aug 23, 2011.

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  1. Davek0974

    Davek0974 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Feck me, I stirred up a hornets nest here!

    Yes, I am still on holiday, currently sitting in a pub in Suffolk with wifi :)

    It seems KateCB that I may have inadvertently given you a headache, thanks for trying over in the legal section anyway.

    My original grievance is with being invoiced stupendous sums for listening to the radio, nothing more, nothing less, just background music.

    I would not object if we were playing mp3s or CDs etc, but we only play PUBLIC BROADCAST RADIO, and as such, the stations will have already paid the required dues to transmit said music and junk.

    They are trying to enforce a tax on listening to radio in groups of more that one person, the stupidity of that is seen here....

    If we have 10 staff listening to one radio, we need a license.
    Put the 10 staff in 10 rooms with 10 radios, no license required.
    Give them all a radio and headphones, no license required.

    So it's just a tax on sitting and working together!

    We will circumvent both licenses by using mp3 players and earphones I think or may just refuse to pay any more and when they book an appointment we'll just turn it off, they have already admitted that they won't cold call, ever.

    The mere fact that this topic stirs up so much anger tells me that it is an injust system and ripe for attack by an organised group to force a change re radio usage at least. I don't think here is the right place to organise such a thing though and as said, we are most likely to just tell them to shove it and carry on regardless. As they have said on various web sites, the most they can do is to force payment for a license which is no worse than just paying it anyway, the difference is that it may take years for them to get round to it, if ever so until then it's money in OUR bank not theirs.

    As far as we are concerned, listening to public radio stations is not a crime.

    Thanks again KateCB
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: Davek0974 Member since: Mar 7, 2008
  2. UKSBD

    UKSBD Not a real duck Staff Member

    9,958 1,940
    There was something on MediaWeek about UK Radioplayer and facebook yesterday,

    my understanding is that if your receiving music from the internet (not live and played elsewhere simultaneosly) PRS doesn't apply.
    I asked that question by commenting to their article, but unfortunately no one has responded.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
  3. KateCB

    KateCB UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,258 534
    I didn't step back and wait for someone else to take the lead, just for someone else to actually do something to help, not JUST me....I have posted a link to an e-petition that is already out there about this, I asked for legal help, and no-one came forward, despite 'taking the initiative/lead' to get the ball rolling, it was never the intention (I don't believe) that ONE person should do everything from raising awareness, asking for help throughout our own forum communities, setting up Facebook, Linked in, Twitter etc - its too much for ONE person to do alone and all I asked for was support from others in terms of resource - another mind, another set of fingers on the keyboard etc.

    I have no objection to continuing to 'help' with this fight, but I am not able, capable or even willing to fight it alone!
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: KateCB Member since: May 11, 2006
  4. shadesofblue

    shadesofblue UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    348 114
    c'mon, let's knock this on the head now.

    You posted the link to the e-petition after people had pointed out you'd done nothing bar posting on here asking for people to do things whilst making no defining contribution yourself.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: shadesofblue Member since: Jul 13, 2010
  5. Davek0974

    Davek0974 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I am fairly certain that the way it transpired was that kateCB made the other requests on my behalf as I was the OP and was (and still is)on holiday.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: Davek0974 Member since: Mar 7, 2008
  6. KateCB

    KateCB UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,258 534
    Defining contribution......!

    Sorry, but I run businesses too, so my 'defining contribution' over the weekend was to give my time to ask for relevant help, this in itself IS a contribution, otherwise this thread and others would never have been aired.....I feel that to belittle what I HAVE done is simply nasty.

    Given that I was actively searching for help, posting the link to the e-petition when i FOUND it was not as a result of someone thinking/saying that I should be doing more - what gives anyone the right to berate me for what i HAVE done, and decide what i SHOULD have done - and by who's criteria? Someone who has done nothing except attack?

    If you are not interested, if you are not offering help in any form, then stop posting belittling/berating diatribe.

    Dave - I hope your holiday is going well, and thanks for being the one person, who after starting this off has supported and defended all I HAVE done - I will be clicking the thanks button immediately! :)
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: KateCB Member since: May 11, 2006
  7. Davek0974

    Davek0974 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    no worries Kate, yes the holiday is very good thanks, I for one appreciate the effort and time expended on this task but I do have a small feeling we are on a hiding to nowhere with it.

    As I said, we are likely just going to tell them both [PRS & PPL] to shove it if the worst they can do is to have us forced to pay the bill! It's a nonsense and when I get some time I may start a Facebook page up and get it rolling again.

    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: Davek0974 Member since: Mar 7, 2008
  8. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Not sure on that I have yet to see a case involving small business's that they have won in law?

    Considering this scam did not start untill 1997,although of course the society was collecting revenue from business's that were deliberately playing music for monetary gain prior to 1997.

    I would guess the latest bunch are all about personal greed.IMHO

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
  9. GlenCB

    GlenCB UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    71 10
    Yes SOB lets define contribution shall we?

    And your contribution is simply to attack and antagonise.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2011 By: GlenCB Member since: Aug 8, 2011
  10. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,281 1,100
    I just can't see why people get so hot under the collar about music - when considered against other forms of entertainment. The people who produce music have rights - enshrined in law, in virtually every country in the world. Some give them away, some don't - but that's their choice.

    PPL and PRS (and of course there's also MCPS, but they rarely are involved u less you copy music from one source to another) are agencies working on their members behalf. This gives them the legal right to collect any royalties due. I quite understand people not liking this, but copyright is really complicated and nobody ever reads the copyright info on CDs and DVD, do they? Because of this they even started to put the info at the beginning of DVDs explaining you can't use them in schools, hospitals, prisons, oil rigs etc. Why? because the deal brokered probably had specific rates granted for such use - Playing a DVD on a cross channel ferry to people each paying a fiver is not on, if the DVD was bought for home use. To use for a paying audience, the royalties are more expensive.

    If you hire a car for leisure use and then use it to drive on business, you are breaking the agreement - why is the use of sounds so different. Private use is what we all do at home or in our leisure time, during work time is different. You may not agree, but the legal precedents are established, so PRS and PPL can go after the consumers of the material. Their tactics are often a bit bullyish - but when so many people object, why should they keep explaining - just send out the summons if they don't pay.

    It's been mentioned before but PRS work for the composers, and PPL for the record companies - hence why they are separate. The record companies have been slow on the uptake, hence why PPL are only now kicking into action.

    If you or your business 'consume' music as part of what you do, you are not a domestic user and have to pay. I have a strong suspicion that PRS and PPL are sharing data, because PPL letters usually go out to people who already have a PRS license. If you've been paying PRS, you have NO DEFENCE - you've already admitted consuming music.

    Copyright may well be deemed unfair - but only to people who don't wish to pay it - to the owners of the copyright, it's very fair!
    Posted: Sep 9, 2011 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  11. Davek0974

    Davek0974 UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,540 308
    Yes that's all good and well if we were playing CDs etc, but not for listening to radio. Radio stations have already paid the royalties and transmit it over the air for ALL to listen to.

    What the PRS and ppl are doing is taxing businesses for something that should be free. We do not make money out of background music, we do not charge our staff to hear it so it should be free.

    As I said, we have fixed it now and all are happy, the PRS and ppl can jog on.

    I doubt the data protection act would allow the two to share info. In our case it was an underhand and sly phone call and a quick interrogation to the first person that answered the phone, that is out of order.

    More people would pay ifthe rates were more reasonable, just greedy sob's that's all.
    Posted: Sep 9, 2011 By: Davek0974 Member since: Mar 7, 2008
  12. UKSBD

    UKSBD Not a real duck Staff Member

    9,958 1,940
    I believe that is the crux of the arguments.

    Fair enough if you are a shop, hairdresser, cafe, etc. and are playing music that is for pleasure of the public then you should pay.

    But if you're a small office playing music to yourself and a member of the public walks in before you have time to switch the radio off there is a big differance.
    Posted: Sep 9, 2011 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
  13. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    Exactly the WRONG information - commons sense makes this likely, BUT, the agreement with the broadcasters is that the music is licensed for non-professional, as in direct to consumer use. They have NOT paid the royalties for offices, clubs and pubs etc to use the material, and to be honest, why should they. They are public broadcasters - as in direct to the public.

    To use the most recent legal decision, the Government had the legal status checked and it is ok for prisoners in jail to listen to the radio - the officers, however, are employees - and as such, not members of the public, and prisons need a PRS license - which they don't have - with the practical upshot that officers cannot listen to the radio, but the inmates can!

    Years ago, you needed a license for a radio in a car - back then, this was the law. The recent changes to the copyright act have not changed the law on the area of copyright we're talking about.

    If you got it sorted, and don't use royalty due music, that's absolutely fine.

    Just a final point - 'copyright free' is rarely exactly what it says - in most cases, the music is still copyrighted, but the owner gives permission for it to be used with no payment.

    There are obviously some real weird ones - I mentioned one before, I think. If you buy a sound effects CD, the license is for domestic use. Who would want a sound effect at home? People buy them for amateur shows and videos - where the use is subject to extra payments - but nobody bothers.

    Just because you want something to be simple doesn't mean it is?
    Posted: Sep 9, 2011 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  14. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    So let me get this straight people who are in offices, clubs and pubs are not members of the public.:|

    Did you mention common sense?:p

    Posted: Sep 10, 2011 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
  15. Experienced IT guy

    Experienced IT guy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    417 102
    well if does not have any benefit, you should stop doing it. Of course, it might make your employees happier, so you might cut back on other costly benefits and still keep the same level of productivity.

    You could also find a busker to play live music (royalty free) and stick a microphone in front of you PA system....

    Just because its easy to do, relies on the work of others and benefits you: does not mean it should be free.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
    Posted: Sep 10, 2011 By: Experienced IT guy Member since: Mar 1, 2010
  16. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    You COULD ask a busker to sing songs that are out of copyright, but that limits the age group a bit doesn't it? Live music is just as controlled - but PPL won't be interested in that one because the first 'P' is for phonographic, but the 'P' in PRS is for performance, and the busker would be performing. It is, however, a different licensing system for live music, so would no doubt be extra, not in replacement of for most people.

    For Sirearl's benefit
    Members of the public being 'treated' to copyright material on commercial premises are having it provided by the management of the venue, and this is what the license covers. If your boss provides the radio for you, then a license is needed. If you use your own ipod, and nobody else can hear it, you're fine. However, if you bring your own radio in and others can hear it, then again, your employer will need a license.

    Like it, disagree with it, whatever - matters not a jot. You hear the same tired arguments from those people with sitting in their car outside the pub - being in charge of the vehicle doesn't mean driving it - over the limit and simply being in it is enough!

    All the amazement and disgust people have over copyright doesn't change the rights of those who own the copyright to control what people do with it. It's only been a few years since we've started to hear Beatles music in adverts, because for many years, the policy was no use of Beatles music in ads for ANY circumstances, or dangling of large wads of money - rights are rights.
    Posted: Sep 10, 2011 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  17. movietub

    movietub UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,859 1,109
    I never even knew about these licenses :|

    We don't play music at work but two of our guys in the warehouse listen to the radio on their mobile phones via head phones. Does this count? If so does it count because they're 'at work' or because they're in the building :|:|:|

    What if I play the radio in my company car with an employee in the passenger seat? Are my staff allowed to watch iPlayer on their iPhones on a lunch break???

    OP this sounds like the sort of thing where you got chased for the second license because you were honest enough to pay the first! We have never had such a call
    Posted: Sep 10, 2011 By: movietub Member since: Nov 6, 2008
  18. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    You pay two licenses because there are two separate licence agencies - it would be nice if there were just one, but music involves lots of people and organisations with an interest - we're only talking about two!

    Just read the copyright notices on the CDs you have at home - buy buying them, you agreed to those terms. It all boils down to two things. Is money due, but balanced against how much it costs to collect. Some of the copyright holders do not actively collect payments below what it costs to process them - when dealing with you direct, but when using the collection agencies - which are what PRS and PPL are - they can rely on legislation to justify what they do legally.

    Both agencies have track records for giving people benefit of the doubt, if they can prove they did not infringe copyright - so the examples you give are up to them. Playing music in the car with an employee present is an unlikely one, but how about a taxi firm playing music to entertain the passengers? Coach firms who have DVD players on board, but who don't provide the DVDs, because if they did, they could well have crossed the line.

    There are no hard and fast rules, and it would be up to the defendant to argue it in court if it could not be resolved one to one. If this happened, it is hard to see how any argument can be devised when all media products contain the warnings.

    If you go to the BBC web site, you will find copious notes on private vs business use of the material they broadcast - it very clearly prohibits business use of their material.

    So the warnings are public, leaving use firmly with the people.

    As for the warehouse guys, the argument would be if management provide the facility, or perhaps even just promote it? Actively knowing about it and letting it happen could, I suppose also be used as evidence. Not knowing about it even happening would allow them deny it. Who knows?
    Posted: Sep 10, 2011 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  19. Experienced IT guy

    Experienced IT guy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    There is one clear exception:

    If you work from home you do not need an additional licence to listen at home or presumably in your car. I got a call from them a few years back. They confirmed this.
    Posted: Sep 10, 2011 By: Experienced IT guy Member since: Mar 1, 2010
  20. Davek0974

    Davek0974 UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,540 308
    Maybe its time the copyright laws were updated then.

    Or maybe they should simply adjust the fees scale to a reasonable value for background radio and not the extortionate amount they try and cream off us.

    BTW keep this thread on track, ITS ABOUT BACKGROUND RADIO ONLY, NOT CD's or MP3's or live performances, just radio.

    At the end of the day, if the worst they can do is force you to pay the invoice through a civil court then the dog has no teeth and should go and hide under a rock.

    Its a pathetic situation when 10 people listening to a radio needs a license but 10 people sitting in 10 rooms does not.
    Posted: Sep 10, 2011 By: Davek0974 Member since: Mar 7, 2008
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