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PPL issues first ever code of conduct

By Gurjit Degun , 04-Dec-2012
Last updated on 04-Dec-2012 at 09:43 GMT2012-12-04T09:43:06Z

PPL: it has released its first ever code of conduct

PPL: it has released its first ever code of conduct

Music royalties collection agency PPL has released its first ever code of conduct, committing to dealing with licensees in a prompt, transparent, fair and respectable manner, in accordance with the code.

After a consultation on the code, the agency has promised to act in a “professional and courteous manner”. It comes after the Government called to tighten up the conduct of copyright collection firms, as part of the Hargreaves review of Intellectual Property and Growth.

It aims to answer all calls within 30 seconds, reply to emails and letters within 10 days and acknowledge receipt of emails and letter within two days of receiving them.

The document notes: “We are committed to acting fairly, reasonably, honestly and impartially towards you, including in relation to how we treat other customers in similar situations. When speaking or corresponding with you, we will also give you a fair opportunity to explain your position to us.”

It explains that as part of PPL’s customer service, it is “committed to raising awareness of music licensing requirements”. This means that the agency may contact businesses to check whether or not a PPL licence is required. This will be done through a visit to the premises, by email, post or telephone.

Businesses that say they do not need a licence, will have to complete a declaration form.

For those who have not purchased, or renewed, a licence, PPL will apply a surcharge of 50%. “This follows a decision of the Copyright Tribunal,” the document explains.

On proposing a new licensing scheme, PPL said it will “take a fair, reasonable and proportionate approach to consultation and negotiation”. It added that in most cases, it will give notice of at least three months before a new tariff is brought in.

For complaints, PPL has listed a step-by-step approach, complaining to PPL directly, and then through its free Independent Complaints Review Service as the final step.

PPL has also agreed to publish information about its performance against the code at least annually, including a complaints report.

PPL is currently in talks with the industry over PPL’s plans to increase its Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) by up to 4,000% .