PPL’s Proposed Tariff

PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd) is the music licensing company which, on behalf of 42,000 performers and 5,000 record companies in the UK, licenses recorded music. Revenues are distributed and paid to PPL’s record company and performer members. These include featured artists as well as session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and to singers.

Our understanding is that the proposed new tariff which was ‘under consultation’ until the end of 2011, relates to Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE). SFE involves the use of the sound recordings in a more prominent manner than the use of the sound recordings as background music. SFE is based on the number attending, the duration of attendance and the number of functions. PPL’s view is that a public performance of its sound recordings will be SFE where:

  • A DJ is used to play the sound recordings at the venue; or
  • There is dancing in the venue (or the provision of facilities for dancing with the reasonable expectation that dancing will take place)

A second consultation was carried out and under the proposals, an event lasting 3 hours and attended by 60 people, which would previously have cost £5.53 under the old tariff would, following the transitional period proposed by PPL, cost £75. This represents an increase of some 1,360%. If a licensed premises had 30 of these events per year it would mean them paying an extra £2,084.10. More information about the proposed tariff can be found at the PPL website.

Although the official deadline of 14 October 2011 for responses to the consultation has now passed, Northamptonshire ACRE is concerned that these new charges will have a hugely detrimental effect on public houses in rural areas and members` clubs, and would urge anyone who is affected by these proposed changes to contact us and PPL via their website.

This comes on top of PPL’s announcement that from January 2012 rural community buildings with an income over £10,000 with have to pay 1% of their income for an annual PPL licence for the building. Halls with an income under that amount will pay a flat rate of £42.00. The Government has often articulated policy support for local rural services including pubs and a proposed increase of this scale appears contrary to that policy.

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