Music ban at Leeds pub caught flouting licensing rules

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RECorded music has been banned at a Leeds pub after a brush with music licence police landed its owners in court.

The Crown at Town Street in Stanningley was caught playing recorded copyrighted music without having a licence from music royalties’ collectors Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL).

London’s High Court heard a PPL inspector visited the pub on August 10 last year and despite it having no licence, heard tracks including ‘Love Me Again’ by John Newman.

PPL’s counsel Fiona Clark told the court that solicitors sent letters to the pub informing proprietor Remy Berthelot of the fact that playing in public recordings without a licence constitutes infringement of copyright - and asking him to get a licence.

Depending on the size of a venue and the audiences involved music licences can cost very little but they can also run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

At the high court, one of the country’s leading judges, Mr Justice Mann, imposed a ban on the pub - and any other premises he runs - until the licence is up to date.

He also ordered Berthelot - who was not in court and not represented - to pay £1,720 in legal costs by May 30.

He could face a fine of up to £10,000 fine or up to six months in prison if he fails to obey the order, as it could be regarded as contempt of court.

The ban applies to all forms of mechanically recorded music such as records, tapes and CDs in PPL’s repertoire.

PPL spokesperson Nazneen Nawaz said: “Public Performance licences are issued by PPL to hundreds of thousands of businesses and organisations from all sectors across the UK who play recorded music to their staff or customers and who therefore require a licence by law.”


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