| 18 Apr 2024
Nightspot ordered to pay ú20,000 for not obtaining PPL license

MUMBAI: If you have been playing music illegally at your venue, you might want to stop. Recently, the UK based High Court ordered a bar- The Birdcage, in Newport, South Wales to pay music licensing company Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) £20,000 (£6,000 in damages and £14,000 in court costs). The nightclub also faces a prison sentence of 28 days if the venue continues to play recorded music without a PPL licence.

The order was imposed by Justice Arnold, who suspended the prison sentence after hearing defendant- John Fletcher, owner of the nightspot. The court was made aware that the nightspot failed to look into the legal requirement for a PPL music license even though PPL contacted them regularly. It was revealed that PPL gave the nightspot many opportunities to rectify their mistake.

The note by PPL stated that the order and warning from Justice Arnold follows Fletcher’s breach of an earlier injunction granted to PPL in late 2013. It stated, “That original injunction was granted when it became clear that The Birdcage nightclub was using recorded music as one of the main attractions for its clientele without a PPL licence.”

PPL operations director Christine Geissmar said, “This ruling demonstrates how seriously the courts treat copyright infringement and reiterates that music can only be played in public if the right licenses are obtained. Businesses that choose to play recorded music without a licence may face legal action and possibly hefty financial and other consequences as a result.”