UK: Performing Rights Society (PRS) fining shops

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by arkitect, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. macrumors 601

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    #1
    Times are hard it seems…

    BBC Link

     
  2. Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #2
    :eek:

    That is just plain down money grabbing. I would've told them to shove off.
     
  3. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  4. thread starter macrumors 601

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    #4
    Probably just a matter of time before the PRS Agents are as hated as the Parking Wardens.

    Incentives based on the number of fines issued.
     
  5. afd
    macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Ridiculous, most of the music I buy I first hear on the radio, If I'm not listening to the radio I won't know about any new music...
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #6
    Um so how does this work again? I thought the radio stations pay royalties to play the music they do on the radio, so why must the listener also pay? Personally if I got this fine I'd probably use it for toilet paper and send it back postage due.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Silencio

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    #7
    Agents from ASCAP have been known to do this in the US, as well. Even more absurdly, they've gone into bars and waited for the band to play a cover song, then hit the bar owners up for royalty fees.
     
  8. Guest

    calculus

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    #8
    Nobody thinks people should be paid for their work then...
     
  9. macrumors Core

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    #9
    Apparently not...
     
  10. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    I don't mind if bars are charged for playing music, as the music is played in bars to create a certain environment. The music played at bars is a secondary form of entertainment. Musicians should be compensated, since the radio, or the music from CDs/mp3s, are an integral part of maintaining the type of environment people want to go back to. Same with upscale clothing shops aimed towards younger people. Ever been in a clothing shop when the music just cuts out? Eerie. The hip clothing shop transforms instantly from modern and exciting, to an experience akin to shopping for boxers at Walmart. It's not the same, and shop owners know it. In fact, clothing shops purposely play faster music because people who are listening to faster music are more likely to make an impulse purchase. Same thing happens when a shop is a bit warm. The music is on for commercial reasons.

    Now, ask me if I know whether the place I get my hair cut has the radio on? I have no idea, and I went last week. I used to get my hair cut at an old-fashioned barber shop where the old man liked to listen to the news radio station. Most of the time, it was dead silent in there because he insisted on talking to you while he cut your hair, but if the radio was on, it was for his benefit, not mine. As a customer, I certainly don't go for the music or atmosphere, nor does the music increase sales or entice me to go back to him.

    To me, that's the problem. The radio may be on for their own personal benefit, not for commercial reasons. If the music is on for employees to listen to in order to kill time, it should be OK, IMO. However, if it's to drive sales, then they should pay.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

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    #11
    They already are - by the radio stations.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Don't know how true this is, but it's a tale worth relating...

    Apparently a live music pub owner in London had a tip off that a PRS agent was going to be in the crowd that night, with the express intention of stinging him for a fine for unlicensed copyright music being played by a cover band.

    So, he told the cover band the score, and they proceeded to play a set made up of 25 second snippets of famous songs to outfox the evil clipboard-bearing automaton. :D

    I heard from someone who works in venue licensing that in order to qualify for PRS interest, the length of music played has to be 30 seconds or longer.

    Even if this isn't true, it's quite funny and I wish someone would do it!
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Aren't they shooting themselves in the foot a bit? Surely if they're music is played on the radio, it will make the musician more popular and thus greater record sales, in a way its free advertising.
     
  14. afd
    macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Radio stations pay the artists to get to play their songs. people hear songs on radio, get to like songs then buy songs.
    Sounds like the artists are getting paid to get their songs advertised to me.
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #15
    Hasn't this always been the case? From my unfortunately long retail experience it's been going on in Australia for at least since the 80's. You have the right to listen to music/radio stations personally, but you've no right to broadcast them to an audience/use them for your own retail purposes. I don't think it's different for any form of media is it?

    If I were an artist of any kind I'd want a say over who used my art for commercial purposes.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #16
    The theory behind it is that music helps workers perform better.

    If workers perform more efficiently then the business will increase it's level of profits.

    PRS wants a share of that.

    The idiocy of the situation is that if you have, say, 5 workers all with their own radio, all tuned to the same station then it's Ok. 5 workers listening to the same radio? Pay up.

    That noise you hear is the PRS shooting themselves in the foot.

    All businesses that play music in a public space already have to pay the PRS and rightly so.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #17
    I can see what your getting at, but having other people present doesn't quite constitute an audience either. If you go to your auto mechanic and they are playing music are you there to listen to the music or to get your car fixed? Should all speakers be taxed because other people may here the sounds emanating from them?

    Even if the attraction to said retail outlet was displaying the media content in a manner to generate business then a licensing fee still isn't so cut and dry. For instance a band or DJ performing at a club may directly use copyrighted content for their performance and gaining a direct benefit from it's use and therefore must pay for the music license.

    However what about the local Starbucks playing a CD available for purchase in store (of course ;) ) while you sip on your coffee? They are getting a direct benefit from the sale of the CD, but are doing so only after making a deal with the record company. Do they still need a license?

    I thought of Radio as a bit of a commercial circus, music is promoted and played to get you to buy the album/single, a fee is paid to play popular songs to get listeners to tune in so the radio station can sell ad spots at a premium so you can be sold to (again) while waiting for more music to come on. If you see it that way, the only non-commercial aspect of radio is the news and weather... brought to you by Mega Corp Inc. of course. ;)

    Yep, classic free rider problem, because you can't opt out of hearing another persons radio.
     
  18. macrumors Core

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    #18
    It's not true. A venue needs a blanket music license. Part of the license's cost goes to the organisation that dishes out royalties.
    If the venue doesn't have a licence, royalty payments are the least of their worries.


    Also this fining of shops should not cover those having a radio playing. It will go to those shops playing cds/mp3s/tape etc. IIRC
    Except those shops that sell cds etc...
     
  19. Guest

    calculus

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    #19
    That covers people listening to it at home, nothing else...
     
  20. macrumors Core

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    #20
    It covers all radio output:

    http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.html
    The BMI has similar rules.
     
  21. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #21
    They shouldn't have to. That was my point earlier. It doesn't make sense to have a tax if the music was never really intended to be part of the overall service and experience.

    I don't know the law in each country, so of course I'm just going to state my opinion here. Yes, the local Starbucks should have to pay a licence fee. It's the right thing to do. They're playing music over the speakers to give their coffee house a certain ambience. Customers come for the coffee, but stay for the ambience. Nobody stays because the furniture is nice. ;) The nice environment also attracts customers to come back and relax at their nearest Starbucks again.



    That has always been the argument by websites and blogs that analyse this sort of thing, such as Techdirt. I agree with this 100% with regards to radio play. However, it's not the musicians that tend to have a problem with minor (potential) offences such as a radio being on at a hair salon. It's usually the record companies that are guilty of trying to collect money from all ears who hear a song, not the musicians. That's their job.....collect the money for airplay. Musicians make more money when more people listen to their music. It increases merchandise sales, concert sizes, and demand for tickets. There are plenty of examples of bands who have given away their music to increase the fan-base. An established musician who has done this is Prince, who gave his new album away in a newspaper to generate interest in his music, which increases demand for his concert tickets (limited supply), and thus increasing the price of said tickets. An example of a non-established band who became massive by increasing their fanbase early are the Arctic Monkeys, who made their early music free, and then began posting all their new songs on MySpace. Heck, people were requesting their music on radio stations before radio had ever had a copy of their album.
     
  22. macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #22
    Call me crazy, but I think radio manufacturers are actually legally exposed on this issue.

    They are selling a device which, when used normally and correctly, but in an office environment, will cause the end-user to be liable to significant fines (and more, if fines are unpaid). Yet, I've never seen a radio with any warning of such. I've never even seen it in the small print!!

    If you listen to radio in your car, and other people are present, does that also make you a music pirate?
     
  23. macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Do we need more warnings and small print in this World :confused:

    In the end its up to the copyright owners to determine how their music may be listened too. And if they decide that broadcasting a radio signal to anything other than a personal audience (family members) then so be it. It does not matter if you are broadcasting to make your employees less bored, if you have a public space and you play a radio then you are broadcasting in that space.

    Yes, I know, play a radio in a park...what happens then...the PRS is a finite resource, much easier to go after shops, less likely to be assaulted.

    Its the same for most DVD's, check the small print :D



    But don't worry, it can get worse, the TV tax...you are required to pay the tax even if you don't watch broadcast TV :mad:
     
  24. macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #24
    A large amount of the £200 probably goes into administration fees, then the record labels, with only a small percentage (probably) actually going to artists, and anyway, the money goes to the most popular artists, rather than who is actually being played, so it's all a farse anyway...
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    pianojoe

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    #25
    Wrong. The theory is that the music makes the place a more convenient place for customers. This is a public performance in oder to increase one's profit. You need a license to use the songwriter's intellectual property for this.
     

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