Licensee blasts soaring pub music costs

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags License Patent

Licensee blasts soaring pub music costs
A Sussex host has refused to pay for a licence to play cds in his pub after the cost rose by 480%

A Sussex host has urged others to follow his lead and dump the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) licence after his bill increased by 480%.

Graham Martin of the Gate in Rusper, West Sussex, said he was "astounded" to discover the price of playing background music in his pub had risen from £100.62 a year to a staggering £482.78.

"It is absolutely ridiculous,"​ said Martin. "It is a totally un-realistic price to pay. More and more people should rebel and refuse to pay for the licence. I just won't play CDs in the pub now, which is a shame for the customers, but we have to make a stand."

The cost of the PPL has been readjusted in line with changes to copyright laws, and is now based on the square-footage of the pub. Some larger venues have reported an increase of 500% in costs.

However, trade associations including the British Beer & Pub Association, the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations and the British Hospitality Association have successfully campaigned to get a copyright tribunal to investigate the rises.

The deadline for submissions to the tribunal passed on Friday of last week.

A spokeswoman for the Patent Office said a decision would not be made "for a few months yet"​.

FLVA chief executive Tony Payne said that until the tri-bunal reaches a decision, licen-

sees have no choice but to pay the new prices if they wish to play background music.

"If the tribunal rules in our favour, licensees may well be entitled to get some money back if they have already paid the increased price,"​ he said.

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