Businesses Urged To Use Ombudsman Over Music Licenses

LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE BEING URGED to use the PRS For Music Ombudsman service if they feel they are under pressure to buy expensive licenses for playing music on their premises.

“The Performing Rights Society (PRS) developed a reputation around a year ago for ‘bullying’ businesses due to the aggressive and threatening approach that was made when they discovered a business was playing music on its premises,’ said David Miles, Education, Skills and Business Support spokesman for the Essex Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

“Essex FSB is all in favour of musicians being rewarded for their work; but the way the PRS was approaching many small businesses was very negative and it was taken up with them last spring. That led to a new annual charge of £44 per year for businesses with less than five staff, a considerable saving on the previous £84 fee, and a promise that there would be a more business friendly approach.

“Sadly, from reports we have recently received from some of our members, the old style approach from the PRS is creeping back in and we believe businesses that are not happy with the way the PRS is treating them should start using the little known independent ombudsman service which can adjudicate on such issues.

“The PRS for Music Ombudsman service was set up to sort out disagreements between PRS for Music and those who may require or have obtained a licence for the public performance of copyright music, and we believe it is time that businesses started using this service to get the message home to the PRS that they have to act in a reasonable and responsible manner.”

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