When you play music at work you may not be aware that you need a licence for it. Many bars, restaurants and retail stores play recorded music whilst some offices and many factories and workshops allow the use of radios or background music for their staff to listen to while they are working. If you fall into one of these cases, you need to obtain (and pay for) a licence from the Performing Rights Society (PRS for Music) or Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) for playing music in public.
PRS and PPL are different licences. The first, allows you to play live music and collects and distributes money for the use of the musical composition and lyrics on behalf of authors, songwriters, composers and publishers. The second one, represents the copyright interests of record companies and performers and allows you to play recorded music or music videos in public, including radio and TV.
The cost of the licence varies depending on many factors like business type, the size of the area in your business that the music can be heard in, how recorded music is used in your business (as background music, via a TV, telephone on-hold system, etc), and even the environment it is used in like in dance and exercise classes.
If you don’t get a licence, you can be fined for copyright infringement and you may be liable to pay damages and costs. For this reason, it’s vital that you ensure your workplace is legally registered to play music whatever way you choose to listen to it.
It’s not necessary to have a licence if you are a lone worker where music is not made available to any visitors or customers, or if you are listening to music on a personal portable device through earphones in your workplace.
If you have any doubts about which licence is right for your business or organisation, and you want to obtain more information about PRS and PPL, you can call us at 0161 624 6811 and speak with our team of professionals or send us a message through our contact form.
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