by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
charity, collections, ppl, prs, royalties, uk

UK Charities Find Out They Need To Pay Yet Another Music Royalty

from the uncle-scrooge dept

Just in time for the holiday season, SteveD alerts us to the news that PPL, Phonographic Performance Limited -- a separate UK licensing group, which collects for performers and producers (unlike PRS, which is for songwriters/record companies) -- is pushing forward with demands for charity shops to pay up for a license on top of the license they already pay PRS. In the past, the UK government exempted charities from having to pay the PPL license, but they've now removed that exemption, and like so many music collections societies, PPL didn't bother to consider how it would look to shake down charity shops, and apparently just drove forward with plans. Nice of them. This is what happens, of course, when you create the statutory ability to shake down anyone who plays music. That right just expands more and more, and the musicians and songwriters never have to actually give people a reason to buy: they just sit back and collect.

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  • icon
    Griff (profile), 17 Dec 2009 @ 12:46am

    Strange folk, these PPL

    Every link I can find to their website seems to need a login.
    Even the "contact us" page.

    Google cache works, so I guess this login is a recent addition. Perhaps they were getting a stack of unwanted traffic, the price of making yourself so popular...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 17 Dec 2009 @ 1:54am

    Honestly, this will probably drive charities more towards the unregistered and unofficial, which will lead to scams which will lead to untrust for charities in general. It really is a shame, these idiots need to look at the bigger picture and see exactly who they are harming. Not just their own rep or even the charities themselves but the idea of charities being a viable non-profit organization. I mean for instance, I help various non-official charities for Child's Play, this way we can use Fair Use laws and aren't hindered by idiots like this, yet people see that we are unofficial and automatically claim that we are scammers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 17 Dec 2009 @ 2:04am

    Why not

    Send a begging letter to the PPL asking for the money back - plus a bit more.

    Then publiscise their response!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    heck i has better idea, 17 Dec 2009 @ 3:22am

    HOW aobut we outlaw charites

    yup toss all the wlefare bums into street for christmas, and disability who needs htem terds...and we can empty hospitals by using dump trucks and dig big pits for them to rest in

    hey why not stop food banks so starving people will now thieve out of stores and goto jail instead and WOA cost tax payers MORE money

    how about we say fook the blind like the mpaa and riaa do and just toss them into a wall head first.

    and why donate to cancer or other diseases too keep that cash for the starving people now in prisons cause taxes are gonna have to go up to pay for it all.

    change this retarded law and allow NON Profit registered companies to have an exemption under hte law else FUCK the UK and stop doing business with that retarded country

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Liquid (profile), 17 Dec 2009 @ 4:56am

      Re: HOW aobut we outlaw charites

      (senses the sarcasmic aura about you)

      That would be a brilliant idea except don't punish the whole when it's a few who are causing all the head aches. Just give them a big middle finger, and a F U then go about your business till they leave. When they show back up with a court order just disappear to the bathroom wipe your bum with it, and hand it back to the them whilst thanking them for the TP cause you're all out. That is what I would being a non-profit organization helping people out. Can't take money from people who don't make any LOL.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ady, 17 Dec 2009 @ 4:39am

    Your ideas aren't great...

    "heck i has better idea"

    What a smart, coherent sentence. More input like this please.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ., 17 Dec 2009 @ 5:08am

    P2P anonymous money.

    Hurt the idiots stop paying taxes and use anonymous cash like bitcoin, egold, pecunix or others.

    Then you will see governments move fast.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2009 @ 5:10am

    Just a reminder Mike: Licencing in the UK is 25% of the business, and the non-consumer spending is the only part of the UK business that is expanding. Consumer spending on music (recorded and live) is flat in the last 6 or 8 years according to the study you reported on (live up, recorded down, net consumer spending flat).

    So are you suggesting that licensing is bad and the UK industry should take a 25% cut in income?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ., 17 Dec 2009 @ 5:15am


      I doesn't seem that way, what it seems is that most sensible people would charge charities for anything.

      You know the pie is big and a slice won't hurt that much would it now?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2009 @ 5:25am

        Re: Re:

        Apparently the government didn't think so, removing the restriction. The collection agency then looks at those business in the same manner as they look at any others. They are specifically going after a type of business, just noting that a number of business are now subject to collection, as per the governement's rules.

        Blame the government for removing the exemption.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          ., 17 Dec 2009 @ 6:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          1977 ACLU vs. Skokie, Illinois

          US District Court Judge Bernard M. Decker described the principle involved in the case as follows: "It is better to allow those who preach racial hatred to expend their venom in rhetoric rather than to be panicked into embarking on the dangerous course of permitting the government to decide what its citizens may say and hear ... The ability of American society to tolerate the advocacy of even hateful doctrines ... is perhaps the best protection we have against the establishment of any Nazi-type regime in this country."

          The government may not decide everythig, but is up to the public to make clear their position and take adequate action.

          In this case we should look for alternatives that are free and boycott the copytards. Create our own venues as a society and diminish the copytards footprint in our culture.

          The congress didn't think it was of consequence and probably they shouldn't be involved anyways and that is all good.

          Now the people should find ways to harm those people economically who do those things as this is the only language they will listen too.

          For that I propose people start using alternatives, free alternatives, start reading the label and searching for CC Commons licenses that give them the rights they want.

          We can force the industry to do it. We just need to be better organized and show to everyone what a bunch of idiots the other side is.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      IsThereAnotherWayToDonate?, 17 Dec 2009 @ 7:42am


      So, if one were to donate to one of these particular charities then one should expect that 1/4 of your donation would then be given to the music thugs ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jimr (profile), 17 Dec 2009 @ 5:25am

    Free music

    If only someone could think of a profitable business model offering free creatively commons songs/lyrics/etc to the general public for use typically uses (not resale).

    I know many starting artist that would love to be able to easily distribute their music for free if it where only to be heard. Even big artist did this at the start of their career - I can think of one right now: Madonna gave her music to ever DJ and Dance bar she could find just to have her music heard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ., 17 Dec 2009 @ 6:04am

      Re: Free music

      There is a lot of free music.

      Joomla is a gret place to start.
      Many other artists go to the website to release songs, the internet archive dot org,,, the freesound project(great for those making short movies and need sounds or for changing the sound of the email warning to a toilet flush).

      Free music is everywhere. You can even find old musics sheets and record them in MID for free.

      Programs like MusicNote, Hydrogen, pitivi, avidemux, kino, audacity, jashaka, jokosher and other are all free, and very simple to use.

      You can even use a professional tool to create animations for your Christmas called synfig(Fedora and Ubuntu Iknow have them in their repositories)

      We should make copyright music a dirty word. We should create our own culture and let those people on the curb to fend for themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 17 Dec 2009 @ 6:13am

    Anyone Know ...

    Does anyone know where I can get a publicly accessable client list for these organizations, and how much they are charging the individual

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Elf number three, 17 Dec 2009 @ 7:45am

    Under Employed Santas

    Hopefully, no one owns the rights to the sound of random bell ringing. If so, then I might think twice about donating to the Salvation Army.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    interval, 17 Dec 2009 @ 8:13am

    "I only need one license to drive my car on public roads, but your telling me I need 5 different licenses to sing 'Happy Birthday' at my son's party??? Get me a pen and paper, its time 'Your Birthday is Today' sees the light of day."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AC, 17 Dec 2009 @ 9:25am

    "Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?" I thought that appropriate given this time of year.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    SteveD (profile), 17 Dec 2009 @ 12:26pm


    Thanks for posting this Mike.

    Just to clarify a few points; the driving force behind this seems to come from EU regulations (which the UK Government is obliged to implement) which remove the exempt status places like charity shops used to enjoy.

    The reason this is in the news is actually because the PPL have started a consultation with charity shops to work out a compromise fee (£100pa is currently on the table, the standard fee much higher). Why the PPL doesn't simply extend the exempt status to charities in their own way I have no idea.

    This extra information came from a BBC Radio 4 interview which Americans (such as mike) are unable to access.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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