If you play music in your business, you are required by law to have a music licence. There are two types of music licences.
Performing Rights Society (PRS) licence
You will need a PRS licence if you play any copyrighted music in public on your premises, including in reception areas and guest bedrooms.
A Music Licence permits you to play copyright music for your staff and customers in whatever way you choose. In your premises this might include:
- music on TV channels (reception areas and guest bedrooms)
- radios, CD & MP3 players, digital music systems
- music on hold
- live bands and DJs
- karaoke machines
PRS has a discretionary charging policy which waives music licence charges for tourist accommodation businesses:
- that have 3 guest bedrooms or fewer
- that are the owners' sole holiday accommodation business
- that are also the domestic residence of the owner
- that are not licensed for the sale of alcohol
- which facilities are only available to resident guests
This policy also applies to small B&Bs with three guest bedrooms or fewer as well as single unit self catering businesses with three bedrooms or fewer. PRS provide information on applying for a licence and how much it costs.
Phonographic Performance Limited licences
While PRS licences relate to the copyright in the music itself, there is also a separate Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) licence which relates to the actual recording, whether on a CD, tape or record etc.
There are two types of PPL licence:
- one is for the use of sound recordings as background music in foyers, bars and eating areas
- the other is for the use of sound recordings as a featured attraction on the premises (such as dances and discos)
The cost of the licence varies according to use.