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 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.
By Neil Gerrard
E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs