PPL and PRS Licenses – Don’t get caught out


If music is played in a public place you must have a licence for it.

Author: Dennis Chapman
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This article is 10 years old.

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We have recently received a number of cases from clients who have fallen victim to PPL Licensing laws and are having to pay out as a result. PPL Licensing was introduced to protect artistic works covered under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1998.

PPL (Public Performance License) covers any music played in a public place. A public place is defined as any space other than the domestic home, therefore an enclosed office, with only one employee in it will still be classed as a public place.

If music is played in a public place you must have a licence for it. Music covers CD’s, Digital downloads, (Playing music through ITunes etc), Radio and TV broadcasting. It will even apply to someone playing music on their phone without the use of earphones!

Thus, you should either obtain the relevant license should you wish to play music in your workshop, forecourt or office, or cease any music being played as soon as possible. Licences start from around £50 for the year, and should you be caught playing music without a license you will be subject to payment of the year’s fee and possible charges if you refuse to make payment.

Dennis Chapman

In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015

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