UK Hairdresser Fined For Playing Music Even Though He Tried To Be Legal
from the the-system-is-designed-to-trip-you-up dept
We’ve pointed out many times just how ridiculously complex various licensing collection agencies are in the music space, especially when multiple collection societies cover the same music. The whole system seems designed to make it nearly impossible for anyone to actually play music legally. Take, for example, this situation in the UK, pointed out by reader mike allen, involving a hairdresser who had paid for a license from PRS For Music just to be allowed to turn on a radio in his shop… only to discover that he failed to pay the other UK collection society, PPL (home of the infamous CEO who insists that “for free” is a bogus concept). So even though this guy thought he was legit, he still ended up with a fine for £1,569.
In his defense, he claimed that he’d never even heard of PPL, and since he had a PRS license, he assumed (quite reasonably) that he was in the clear. Now, I’m sure that defenders of the system will quickly step up and say that it was his responsibility to find out what music licensing groups you have to hand over a tithe to each year, but all this guy wants to do is turn on his radio. For most people, it’s just common sense that you shouldn’t have to pay a fee just to turn on a radio in your barber shop. And then, once you’re informed that this totally nonsensical situation is, in fact, true, it seems quite reasonable to then assume that one license will let you turn on the radio. Finding out that you need two (or more) separate licenses just to turn on the radio (even though the radio already pays its fees and the music acts a promotion) just seems ridiculous for everyone who isn’t a recording industry exec or a long term copyright lawyer.
Copyright is not supposed to work this way.