licensing

TOWIE club ordered to stop playing recorded music

By James Evison

- Last updated on GMT

Licences not held: Miya nightclub has been banned from playing music
Licences not held: Miya nightclub has been banned from playing music

Related tags: Music, Copyright infringement

Miya Nightclub in Chelmsford, made famous by ITV show The Only Way is Essex, has been ordered to stop playing recorded music on its premises.

The club was banned on 25 October from playing recorded music after it was found to be playing music without the necessary licence. A costs hearing will follow on 17 November. 

The trial, which started on 28 September, centred on designated premises supervisor (DPS), Ms Kerry Ormes, who was charged with daily management of the club under the Licensing Act 2003.

Ormes denied being responsible for any infringement at the club, claiming she was not manager or proprietor – and had no proprietary interest in the running of the club.

Copyrights infringed

But Ormes was judged to be liable for authorising and procuring acts infringing copyright, namely the playing of sound recordings and musical works at the club without licences from PPL and PRS for Music.

It accepted PPL’s and PRS’s evidence stating it would be unusual for a DPS not to be a person who had managerial control of the premises in order to meet the licensing objectives.

Further, the evidence showed Ormes acted as the manager of the nightclub, and that her managerial responsibilities would generally include the booking of DJs and promoters. 

PPL and PRS for Music were awarded an injunction against the defendant to prevent further infringement by Ormes by playing music in public without a licence.

PRS for Music's commercial director Paul Clements said: “Music can have many positive benefits for business, whether used for staff and customer entertainment, or to enhance financial gain or profits. We support businesses across all sectors with licensing advice, so that music can be enjoyed by all and, in turn, ensure that the creators of music are fairly and legitimately paid for their work.”

Last resort

PPL operations director Christine Geissmar said: “There is an intrinsic value that music adds to businesses, and this judgment acknowledges that the creators of the music should be fairly rewarded for this.

"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. Those businesses that choose to play recorded music without a licence will face legal action as a result.

“PPL and PRS for Music regards legal proceedings as very much a last resort but unfortunately they are sometimes necessary. A court can order the business to pay its outstanding music licence fees plus PPL's and PRS's legal costs and issue a court order known as an injunction to stop the business playing recorded music until this is done.

“In this instance, in spite of us repeatedly contacting the defendant to get the correct licensing in place, this case was taken to the High Court in London, where the defendant was banned from playing any copyrighted recorded music until a licence is purchased.”

Related topics: Licensing law

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