PPL set for crackdown on music quizzes

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Music licensing authority PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) is set to crack down on pub quizzes.It could mean hefty fines for hundreds of...

Music licensing authority PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) is set to crack down on pub quizzes.

It could mean hefty fines for hundreds of licensees who use music rounds which ask customers to identify snippets from songs — unless they buy the rounds from a properly licensed firm.

The firms have to pay a £20,000 one-off licence fee and then £2.50 to PPL for each quiz.

In a letter to the Music Factory Entertainment Group, one of the firms licensed, PPL warns it is conducting a major survey of all premises using music quizzes over the coming year.

Another letter says: "It has come to PPL's attention that there is widespread unlawful activity and we are in the process of targeting this area", and promises to "pursue the offending person for damages, interest and costs regardless of the sums of money involved".

Pubs licensed by PPL to play recorded music are not automatically covered when it comes to quizzes which involve taping and playing excerpts of songs — regarded by PPL as dubbing.

"The vast majority of pub quizzes are illegal," said Steve Saul of CA Solutions which distributes quizzes using music from the Music Factory. "The law is broken as soon as the licensee or quiz master records a track themselves. There have been no prosecutions for a long time but we understand that PPL will be looking into it in the future."

A spokeswoman for PPL said: "We consider that there are a lot of quizzes containing an element of unauthorised music use. This is being highlighted by an in-depth look at the market, which has revealed there are more quizzes with an element of music taking place than the number we currently licence.

"We would like to educate the industry that this kind of use is illegal. PPL has a duty to protect its members' rights and will vigorously pursue any unauthorised use."

Related topics: Entertainment

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