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Hotels, pubs and restaurants win recorded music fee battle

15 February 2010 by
Hotels, pubs and restaurants win recorded music fee battle

Pubs, restaurants and hotels across the country could share up to £20m in refunds after the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) won a High Court legal battle over the charges they pay to play recorded music.

Phonographic Performance (PPL) appealed against a decision by the Copyright Tribunal which ruled that its tariff increases were unreasonable. The BHA said that the tariffs, which were applied retrospectively back to 2005-2006, represented an increase of up to 403%. The Copyright Tribunal allowed only a 10% all-round increase plus inflation (RPI).

The Tribunal also ordered that refunds should be given to all businesses that had paid over the odds since the new tariffs were introduced - a figure estimated at around £15-£20m. Annual savings for the hospitality industry in the future were estimated at £5m.

But High Court Appeal Judge Mr Justice Arnold dismissed PPL's appeal and ruled in favour of the BHA and the BBPA.

Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the BHA, said: "This successful result shows, once again, the importance of having a strong trade association to defend the industry's interests, given the enormous amount of time and effort needed to fight these cases."

Industry will save millions after winning long-running music copyright case >>
Hospitality wins court fight over music fee hike >>

Restaurateur pays a high price for playing unlicensed music >>

Music puts pubs on song after the smoking ban >>

By Neil Gerrard

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