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Music licensing requirements

On 1 January 2012 PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd) and PRS (Performing Rights Society), who represent the interests of different music copyright holders, launched a joint license scheme.

Music licensing affects all premises owned or used by Scouts where music's played in a public place (meaning other than in a domestic setting, which includes community buildings).

Scout units will therefore need to ensure that they comply with music licensing requirements by obtaining both a PPL and PRS license. Failure to obtain a license may be a breach of copyright and be subject to prosecution.

The following is provided as a brief guide only and it's very important that Scout Groups contact PRS directly for more detailed information about what type of license they need, how this should be obtained and the costs involved. Please note that you can contact PRS for general enquiries too.

PRS has provided the following simple four step guidance to understanding the licensing requirement.

Please note that the below guidance is applicable to Scout Units (Counties, Districts and Groups), Scout Activity Centres and campsites, along with other Scouts premises where a music license may be required.

As music licenses are administered by PRS and/or PPL, any enquiries about requirements, fees or tariffs must be made directly to them.

Firstly, you need to consider whether you're responsible for arranging a license.

If you own or manage your own premises, you should obtain a license if you or anyone else is using music in your premises.

If you're using someone else’s premises, for example if you hire a hall once a week, then you should check that the venue owner has a license to cover your music use. 

If you're running an event, which is not in a fixed premises, (for example, in a park, on your village green or in the street), you'll probably be responsible for arranging a license to cover any music use.

There're some circumstances where no charge is made for the license, such as music used in some educational establishments, as part of divine worship or in hospices.

Please visit the website for PRS or contact PRS to see the exceptions in more detail. A Scout group is unlikely to come within the exceptions but, if in doubt, checks should be made with PRS.

There're a number of tariffs tailored to meet the needs of different types of premises and events.

In order to get information about which tariff applies, please contact PRS at 0800 068 48 28.

Please note, the fee for a Joint License will be calculated by PRS. It'll include payment of both the PRS and PPL tariffs.

Both PRS and PPL tariffs are based upon annual income, which includes subscriptions, and a flat-fee payable where income is below a certain threshold. The following's provided as guidance, but Scout units must check the fees applicable to them with PRS directly:

PRS Licenses: Those with an income of £4,350 or less are required to pay a flat fee of £43.50 per year. Those with an annual income of more than £4,350 are required to pay a fee equal to 1% of that income.

PPL Licenses: Those with an income of £10,000 or less are required to pay a flat fee of £43.50 per year. Those with an annual income of more than £10,000 are required to pay a fee equal to 1% of that income.

For full details of the PPL and PRS for Music tariffs for community buildings, view the PPL tariff or view the PRS for Music tariff

In order to get information about which tariff applies, please contact PRS at 0800 068 48 28 or via their website.

   

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