Michael Shaw: Music licensing in golf clubs

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams November 13, 2011 16:57

Michael Shaw: Music licensing in golf clubs

On February 12, 2010, an appeal was heard against a decision of the Copyright Tribunal in regard to the rates paid to Music Licensing Organisation PPL on behalf of performers and record companies for the right to play music on TVs and radios in public in the Hospitality sector (pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels and shops) and Offices and Factories. These are commonly known as Tariff 110 applicable to public houses and cafes; Tariff 111 relating to shops and stores and Tariff 112 relating to factories and offices.

The issues revolved around payment of annual fees sought by PPL under a structure of new tariffs introduced and, in particular, bandings upon which fees were to be paid based upon the size of the premises and number of people using them. The Institute of Licensing claimed that the new fees were unfair and would result in a substantial increase in the fees currently paid.

The Copyright Tribunal upheld the argument and PPL appealed against the decision to the High Court.

The High Court upheld the findings of the Copyright Tribunal in a decision published on February 12 and upheld the decision to allow a period of time to implement a refund process to all PPLs affected customers.

The Refund Process

Whether or not this will affect golf clubs (private or proprietary) is a matter of debate.

In the first instance, it will depend on the licence and whether Clubs are paying under Tariffs 110, 111, 112. The Licence must be checked to see the basis on which PPL fees are being paid. It is unlikely to be the same in every case.

If there is uncertainty then you should contact PPL on 0207 534 1000. They are currently working towards a refund process and they advise through their website that they will be writing to their affected customers with details in accordance with the timetable set out in the judgement. They invite telephone contact if there are queries.

The judgement places the responsibility for resolving the matter on PPL.

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams November 13, 2011 16:57
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