Copyright music licensing changes

10.01.19

To use copyright-controlled music in your community building, you need to have the appropriate licence(s). This ensures that composers, publishers, and performers are compensated when their work is used in public.

The two elements of music copyright are managed by PPL (for music recordings) and PRS (for composers and publishers). Historically, these have been handled as separate licences but the two organisations have gradually been merging their processes. Licensing is now being managed by a new company, PPL PRS Ltd, under the name TheMusicLicence.

Many community buildings will need both licences, so this merger of the two licensing systems should make things easier for you. However, some organisations (especially those managing a smaller hall) will only need the PRS element, and a few won’t need either.

The PRS element covers the whole building, and commercial organisations using PPL-controlled recordings (e.g. a dance instructor or fitness group) need to have their own PPL licence. So if the only users of copyright recorded music are commercial bodies / sole traders, then the village / community hall charity will not need the PPL element. You just need to ensure that your terms and conditions of hire clearly state that hirers must have all relevant licences, policies etc. to cover their activities.

We have been assured by a PPL representative as follows:
If a community building only uses PRS repertoire they will still move to TheMusicLicence but will only be charged for the PRS element using the community buildings tariff.

Action Hampshire members can contact us for an information booklet and more guidance – call 01962 857358 or email our community buildings officer.