Nightclub owner faces £20k fine and suspended prison sentence

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

John Fletcher faces a 28-day prison sentence if the venue carries on playing music without a licence
John Fletcher faces a 28-day prison sentence if the venue carries on playing music without a licence

Related tags: Law

 A Newport bar owner has received a suspended prison sentence and been ordered to pay £20,000 for illegally playing music.

John Fletcher, who owns the Birdcage in Newport, South Wales has been ordered by the High Court to pay music licensing PPL £20,000, £6,000 in damages and £14,000 in court costs.

If the venue continues to play recorded music without a PPL licence, Fletcher will face a prison sentence of 28 days. Judge Justice Arnold imposed the fine and suspended sentence after hearing that the defendant had failed to comply despite being contacted several times.

PPL operations director Christine Geissmar said: “There is an intrinsic value that recorded music adds to businesses, and this judgement acknowledges that the performers of the music and record companies should be fairly rewarded.

"This ruling demonstrates how seriously the courts treat copyright infringement and reiterates that music can only be played in public if the right licences 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.”

A previous injunction was granted to PPL against the Birdcage in 2013, after it emerged the nightclub was playing recorded music without a licence.

Related topics: Licensing law

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