On 1 January 2012 PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd) and PRS (Performing Rights Society), who represent the interests of different music copyright holders, launched a joint licence scheme.
Music licensing affects all premises owned or used by Scouting where music is played in a public place i.e. other than in a domestic setting which includes community buildings. Scout units will therefore need to ensure that they comply with music licensing requirements by obtaining both a PPL and PRS licence. Failure to obtain a licence may be a breach of copyright and be subject to prosecution.
The following is provided as a brief guide only and it is very important that scout units contact PRS directly for more detailed information about what type of licence is required, how this must be obtained and the costs involved. Please note that you can contact PRS for general enquiries too.
PRS has provided the following simple four step guidance to understanding the licensing requirement.
Please note that the below guidance is applicable to Scout Units (Counties, Districts and Groups), Scout Activity Centres and campsites along with other Scouting premises where a music licence may be required. As music licences are administered by PRS and/or PPL, enquiries about requirements, fees or tariffs must be made directly to them.
STEP ONE: Do you need to get a licence?
Firstly you need to consider whether you are responsible for arranging a licence.
If you own or manage your own premises, you should obtain a licence if you or anyone else are using music in your premises.
If you are using someone else’s premises, for example if you hire a hall once a week, then you should check that the owner has a licence to cover your music use.
If you are running an event which is not in a fixed premises, for example, in a park, on your village green or in the street, you will probably be responsible for arranging a licence to cover use.
STEP TWO: Is there a charge for your music use?
There are some circumstances where no charge is made for the licence, such as music used in some educational establishments, as part of divine worship or in hospices.
Please contact the PRS or visit their website to see the exceptions in more detail. A scout group is unlikely to come within the exceptions but, if in doubt, checks should be made with PRS.
STEP THREE: How much will the licence cost?
There are a number of tariffs tailored to meet the needs of different types of premises and events. In order to get information about which tariff applies please contact PRS at 0800 068 48 28.
Please note, the fee for a Joint Licence will be calculated by PRS and will include payment of both the PRS and PPL tariffs.
Both PRS and PPL tariffs are based upon annual income (which includes subscriptions) and a flat-fee payable where income is below a certain threshold. The following is provided as guidance and scout units must check the fees applicable to them with PRS directly:
PRS Licences, those with an income of £4,350 or less are required to pay a flat fee of £43.50 per year. (Those with an annual income of more than £4,350 are required to pay a fee equal to 1% of that income).
PPL Licences those with an income of £10,000 or less are required to pay a flat fee of £43.50 per year. (Those with an annual income of more than £10,000 are required to pay a fee equal to 1% of that income).
Full details of the PPL and PRS for Music tariffs for community buildings can be found at the links below:
View the PPL tariff (PDF)
In order to get information about which tariff applies please contact PRS at 0800 068 48 28.
Scout Shows – The Legal Aspect (FS120162) factsheet is currently being updated and will be available in due course.