Come the revolution...

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DaveB
The Ministry
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Come the revolution...

Post by DaveB »

Morning Chaps :)

I thought I'd share this little story with you..

We got a call this morning from the PRS (Performing Rights Society) informing us that we need a licence :-O We used to have the radio on (low) in the pub as background music but to avoid getting caught in the PRS trap, we stopped doing this some years ago. Why then do we need a PRS licence now? You have TV's says the bloke on the phone! *-)

Ah yes.. the analog signal has been turned off so we've had to put Freeview boxes in our B&B rooms. One of the many things you can get on a Freeview box is radio so there we are.. snared once more 8) I've looked at the letter of the law and there appears to be no way out. A 'public' performance is considered to be anywhere outside the domestic environment and an audience only need consist of one bod so even though our guests have to pay for the privilige of staying in the rooms and there may only be one bod in a room at any given time, because it is outside the domestic environment and the TV's have the facility through Freeview to play radio, we have to get a PRS licence. As if we didn't already have enough on our plate! 8)

Thanks to the wonders of modern science and the technical advances it brings, we now have another annual bill to pay :rant: I've considered removing the radio channels from 'selection' but I guess the PRS would win because I can't physically disable them. All it needs is for a guest to manually do a retune on the box and they'd come back :| Happy days :(

ATB
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Paul K
Red Arrows
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by Paul K »

Blimey, thats an unusual one Dave.
DaveB
The Ministry
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Location: Pelsall, West Mids, UK
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by DaveB »

Hello Mate :hello:

Yes it is.. and what annoyed SWMBO more than anything was the fact that the bloke on the end of the phone wasn't aware that radio channels could be picked up by Freeview.. just that the PRS had gone to Court a couple of years ago and successfully managed to change the legislation to include TV's. This is why she kept him on the phone for 30mins! :lol:
I guess I could crank the AE round to pick up the London transmitter which would dispense with the Freeview boxes but to be honest, the picture is rubbish compared to the digital signal from the Oxford transmitter and this would only work until April next year when analog is turned off in London. The old short and curlies are well and truly grabbed :|

ATB
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Old sailors never die.. they just smell that way!
DarrenL
Concorde
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by DarrenL »

Change the pubs use to something that doesn't apply :)

http://www.prsformusic.com/users/busine ... cence.aspx

Look at the first one.

1. Medical Music Therapy
PRS for Music does not make a charge for music used as part of Medical Music Therapy sessions, in whatever premises those sessions take place. Medical Music Therapy means formal therapy sessions where music is an integral part of the therapy, used for the direct benefit of individuals with diagnosed conditions. Medical Music Therapy does not include background music use as part of other kinds of medical or non-medical therapy, such as physiotherapy or massage, as music is not an integral part of the therapy.

Hold official medical music therapy sessions for alcoholics. :lol:
DaveB
The Ministry
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by DaveB »

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Nice idea Darren.. all I need are a few customers who could afford to be alcholics in this day and age :party:

ATB
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Old sailors never die.. they just smell that way!
DarrenL
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by DarrenL »

DaveB
The Ministry
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by DaveB »

Hi Darren :hello:

Thanks for that. While it didn't mention the spectre of digital TV, some interesting comments and observations were made ref the playing of radio in 'public' places. I noted from the PRS website that they didn't appear to be an offical body.. not in the true sense of the word like say, the tax man for example and wondered then what gave them the right to do what they do. We've not, to the best of my knowledge, ever entered into a contract with PRS and this seems to be the crux of the matter.

Tks again mate.. certainly much food for thought :thumbsup:

ATB
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Old sailors never die.. they just smell that way!
Tako_Kichi
Concorde
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by Tako_Kichi »

DaveB wrote:I noted from the PRS website that they didn't appear to be an offical body.. not in the true sense of the word like say, the tax man for example and wondered then what gave them the right to do what they do. We've not, to the best of my knowledge, ever entered into a contract with PRS and this seems to be the crux of the matter.
It's been 20 years since I last had dealings with the PRS as I got out of the music related industry when I emigrated. The PRS is the 'Performing Rights Society' and it's role used to be that of money collector for performers. They are the ones who collected the royalties for performers/bands and made sure that said royalties got to the performers and record companies, after taking their cut of course!

I don't know how they work now but my guess is that they have a list of all the public houses in the UK in a database that they can cross-reference to people they have issued performance licences to. If you own a pub and are not on their licence list then they will hit you up in the belief that ALL pubs play music of some sort, at some time. As you have noticed it doesn't have to be 'live' music in the form of bands either, having CDs or the radio on will count as a 'public performance' as far as they are concerned (I would imagine the old 'juke boxes' would have fallen into the same trap too).

I was working in the Performing Arts Department at a College in the UK when I last had dealings with them as concern was raised about the playing of music in the music department but as we were an educational establishment the County authorities took care of a 'blanket licence' for all the schools/colleges in the county.
Larry
DaveB
The Ministry
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by DaveB »

Hi Larry :hello:

Indeed! I've since found out from the good lady that they phone every year asking the same questions towit, they get the same answers. We have no TV for public broadcast, we have no piped music of any description and we have no jukebox. The pub is void of all electronic broadcast. However, this year (this morning) they highlighted the fact that we have TV's in the B&B accommodation.. something we've always had. One can only surmise that this is due to radio stations now being available on digital transmissions to TV's.. something that had passed this bloke by.. all he understood was that PRS had been to Court and 'won' the necessary changes in legislation.

To be honest.. it sucks, that's all I can say! SWMBO may have left us open to the 'contractural' rubbish (inadvertantly I might add) but I'm inclined to ignore it. It is, after all, cold calling.

ATB
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Old sailors never die.. they just smell that way!
Tako_Kichi
Concorde
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Re: Come the revolution...

Post by Tako_Kichi »

DaveB wrote:SWMBO may have left us open to the 'contractural' rubbish (inadvertantly I might add) but I'm inclined to ignore it. It is, after all, cold calling.
That is certainly one option. :lol: :agree:

However, now they know you have TVs in the B&B rooms be prepared to be hit up again as they will claim legitimate reasons now. If you argue the case it wouldn't surprise me if they then try to claim 'back fees' from the time you switched the TVs over to digital. It does seem a bit harsh as no doubt you have to have a TV licence for those anyway so you're getting 'stung' twice!

Hmmm, I wonder if you can write the PRS licence off on your pub taxes as a 'legitimate expense'?
Larry
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