Performance Rights Society Goes After Childrens' Charity

from the that-hard-up-for-money,-huh? dept

We’ve noted in the past that the Performance Rights Society (PRS), which is in charge of collecting performance rights royalties throughout the UK, has basically been pushing the boundaries of the definition of a “public performance” — and it’s reaching the point where if anyone else hears the music you’re playing, you may owe PRS a royalty. For example, they first went after car repair shops where mechanics in the garage area were apparently listening to personal radios loud enough for customers in the shop to hear. Then, they went after police stations that had personal radios playing loud enough for others to hear.

The latest in its effort to look about as obnoxious as possible is to (seriously) go after a non-profit children’s community center for using a TV, radio and CD player to keep kids entertained. As the folks who run the community center note, they already have a TV license, and have purchased the CDs legally. Yet, PRS wants them to pay again — and not a small sum, either. It’ll be another £3,000 to actually use these products that were legally purchased. It’s almost as if the folks on the “royalties” side of the music business want to look as evil as is humanly possible.

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Companies: prs

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Comments on “Performance Rights Society Goes After Childrens' Charity”

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GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

Time for parental action!

Please, if you are a parent of an adult child who works for the Performance Rights Society (Gang, more like), please invite them home for dinner tonight. Please do not delay as this is important.

Once they arrive, make sure your favorite dinner music is playing softly in the background as you serve dinner. During dessert, be sure to present your child with a bill for 3,000 Pounds to cover your obligation to the PRS. If your child refuses to remit, notify his or her PRS supervisor at your first opportunity.

If none of this works, please spank your badly behaving child no matter the age.

You owe this to society as you clearly made serious mistakes in raising your child.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Tell them to

Just tell them to feck off.
Seriously, refuse to pay no matter what.
Sometimes you have to stand up for what is right, no matter what. About 99.5% of the population would side with them on this. At least I would guess it would be easily over 95%

Btw, those mechanics didn’t seriously pay did they? I hope not. These people need a good slap in the face. Need to wake up to reality.

Jake says:

As far as I know, the PRS is unfortunately at least partially correct about the letter of the law here; every video or DVD I’ve ever watched has carried a warning to the effect that if you play it anywhere but a private home you’re in big trouble, which I presume is a hangover from the early days of VHS when the cinemas were worried about losing revenue. (Some things never change, it seems.) I doubt it’s ever been tested in court, as it’s so totally impractical to enforce that even the big studios couldn’t be bothered to try… until now, it seems, unless this is some PRS employee(s) acting on their own initiative.

Incidentally, I’m actually quite glad that this kind of crap is still a police matter; if the PRS do finally get their way on spot checks, which I presume they requested and were refused back when this law was new, better said spot checks be done by someone not employed by the PRS itself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Do radios in the UK come with warnings? Is it really illegal to play your radio loud enough for someone else to hear it? I thought not.

The only solution to this BS is the obvious one: Everyone quit buying recorded music. Thus, the PRS and the recording mafia in the US will have no monies to collect, and they’ll wither and die (which seems to be what they’re trying to accomplish). Unless they start charging us for singing, humming and whistling. In which case, it’s time for them to start getting measured for their dirt naps, because someone will justifiably go postal on them.

Yakko Warner says:

Re: Re: Re:

Your solution doesn’t go far enough. If they’re able to collect money for playing a personal radio too loud (re: the auto shop lawsuit), that’s not purchased, recorded music, that’s broadcast music. (Unless the British definition of “radio” is closer to “CD-” or “MP3-player”.)

So the solution isn’t just to stop buying recorded music, but to stop listening to broadcast stations as well.

Might as well just not listen to any music at all, just to be on the safe side.

PRS Suck says:

PRS Suck

Hate to tell you all this but the PRS has the law on its side.

As the saying goes the Laws an Ass

They are also going after all small business even if there is only 1 or 2 people.

Unfortunately this Not for profit PRS has deep pockets to take this to law and win

Government needs to stop this and we all need to demand they are stopped

Last thought
Someone does a song, the record company pay them
The radio plays it and also pays them
You listen and you now pay them
Then if you like it you can buy it and pay them
And if you play it out side your home you can pay them again.

I do a job and get paid once, guess I am in the wrong line

emma (profile) says:

Not the best of PR eh?

That’s a real shame, and although I can see that they need to protect the rights of the artists and music publishers, I don’t think 3 grand is a reasonable expectation of any small business just for playing CDs in a place where other people may hear the music.

I’m sure the PRS haven’t actively target children?s charities, but surely they can come up with a decent scheme that doesn’t make them look so bitter and money-grabbing?

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