by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
music, performance license, retail, uk

UK Music Retailers Ask Why They Should Pay Performance Licenses To Play Music When They're Trying To Sell The Music

from the seems-like-a-fair-point dept

We've had plenty of stories about music collections agencies shaking down various businesses for playing music -- and over in the UK a fight is apparently brewing over whether or not music retailers should have to pay such fees. As you might imagine, the collection agencies say of course such retailers should pay. But the retailers point out that they're trying to sell the music directly and letting them play the music freely will help them do that. Apparently (I had no idea), in the US, record stores have an exemption from paying licensing agencies. But not so in the UK.
"These license fees imposed on record stores are iniquitous and in my view should be abolished," said UK-based Entertainment Retail Association (ERA) president Paul Quirk in a speech to members on Wednesday, while squarely pointing to "industry bodies like PRS and PPL who still pursue record stores for license fees in order to play music, promote music and ultimately to sell music."
Can you imagine running any other business this way? A bakery that wants to sell you cakes, but has to pay a separate "performance rights fee" to the baker? Don't see that working..

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2011 @ 9:35am

    PRS is vicious... the U.S. allows direct licensing for public performance rights. For example, if you have a restaurant and want to play music, and you have an agreement with a musician who happens to own the master, publishing and performance rights to all of his/her music, you can, of course play their music. Ditto if there's a third party intermediary, like a Muzak-style provider who procures such agreements from musicians and labels. In the U.K.? Nope, gotta pay PRS no matter what. They make the jackals at ASCAP and BMI look reasonable by comparison.

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