Does Your Business Comply with the PRS Music Regulations?
If you listen to music in the work place, then it may be worth reading the rest of this article. It has become a surprise to many people in the UK that listening to music while at work could be infringing the Performing Right Society’s regulations. If a customer or colleague hears as little as a whisper of music from your desk, you could land your business with an instant fine.
This all recently came into the news after the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) highlighted this some what unknown regulation; suggesting that it is a “money-making exercise” put in place by the PRS. The FSB do wish to highlight the current importance of a licence, as the regulation seems unlikely to shift in the near future. A licence can be bought from the PRS that will allow you to play music freely in your workplace. However, these licences do not come cheap and the top tariffs run into thousands of pounds.
So what is legal? Well you are allowed to listen to your own music, be it of any device which only allows you to listen to it. Radios which can be heard by more than one person have to be scrapped. After one business owner scrapped their radio they said “It’s not as sociable, but at least it’s free”. It seems that most businesses will just have to fall for the compromise.
The FPB (Form of Private Business) have reported that complaints have been received from businesses arguing that the strategy employed by the PRS is both random and vicious. The PRS’ strategy was to ring up small businesses, starting to ask generalised questions. If it is found that the business is guilty, the conversation turns into an accusation of illegality. The PRS have made a statement which reads that they will now are more careful with both how they target and deal with customers.
The FPB have recently started a campaign to change the current law. They believe that public orientated businesses such as bars and restaurants should still have to pay the licence; whereas small office based businesses should be exempt from this payment. The FPB believes that these businesses do not play music for commercial gain, but to instead merely encourage and motivate the employees.
More information can be found at the official PRS website: