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PPL set to pay out £15m after royalties row

03 June 2010
PPL set to pay out £15m after royalties row

Hotels, restaurants and pubs will soon be able to claim refunds worth a total of £15m from music royalties collection body PPL, following a ruling late last year from the Copyright Tribunal.

The expected payout comes after a successful appeal by the British Hospitality Association and the British Beer and Pub Association against the tariff imposed by PPL for recorded music.

The Copyright Tribunal ruled that PPL's tariff increases, dating back to 2005-2006, were unreasonable; it allowed only a 10% all-round increase plus RPI. It also accepted that refunds should be given to all those businesses that had paid over the odds since the new tariffs were imposed - estimated to amount to some £15m. However, claims under £50 will be disregarded.

Annual savings for the hospitality industry going forward are estimated at £5m.

Letters and claim forms are now being issued to all PPL's licensees in hotels, restaurants and pubs.

The tribunal's decision means that licensees can seek a refund for the difference between (a) what PPL charged in the years from 2006* to 2009 (*from 2005 if that was the first year a PPL license was held) and (b) the lower fees set by the tribunal.

"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," said Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the BHA.

Industry will save millions after winning long-running music copyright case >>

Hotels, pubs and restaurants win recorded music fee battle >>

Hospitality wins court fight over music fee hike >>

By Neil Gerrard

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