Is Your Background Music Legal?

Is Your Background Music Legal header

Is the background music legal in the venues where you have your machines?

  • * Do they play tunes in your pub using Spotify?
  • * Use an iTunes playlist?
  • * Have the radio playing?
  • * Enjoy playing someone’s CD collection at the bar?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above – and the site doesn’t have a valid licence from Spotify or iTunes AND the PPL and PRS for Music – they are breaking the law and could be liable for a substantial fine.

Spotify and iTunes

Both Spotify and Apple confirm in their terms and conditions that the use of their services is for personal, non-commercial use.  So, technically, these services shouldn’t be used in a pub or any other public site.

PPL or PRS for Music?

Unsure whether your customers need a licence from the PPL or PRS for Music?

They are likely to need both, if they play music in a public space.

  • * PPL collects and distributes money on behalf of record companies and performers
  • * PRS for Music represents songwriters, composers and music publishers

Ultimately, if they play music in public without a licence, they are infringing copyright and – as the Government website points out – could be sued for damages.

What kind of penalties could they face?

If they play music without the right licence or licences in place, they are opening themselves up to hefty fines, bans or worse which could all impact your machines…

  • * For example, the owner of the Newport nightclub the Birdcage was hit by a £20,000 fine – along with a suspended prison sentence – for playing music without a valid PPL licence in June 2015
  • * And popular Swindon nightspot MECA was fined £2000 in December 2016 for a similar offence

How much does a licence cost?

The cost of the licences vary, depending on the type and size of the business.

To find out exactly what your customers’ licence will cost, they will need to register on both the PPL and the PRS for Music websites.

Feeling confused?

It should be simple, but unfortunately there’s a myriad of conflicting material in the public domain, which means many businesses are confused as to what they can play and which licences they need but we can confirm

  • * They cannot play Spotify and iTunes
  • * They need a PPL and PRS for Music licence

Make life easy with soundjack

Don’t worry though, we’re committed to cutting through the noise and making life as easy as possible for you.

  • * We’re a fully licensed background music supplier
  • * That means all the music on our system is licensed for commercial use

But to play that music legally, they will still need to get those licences! At soundjack, we can help you manage this process.

Got any questions? We’d love to answer them so get in touch through our contact page.

contact soundjack now for free demo Call 0207 644 8880

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