Restaurateur pays a high price for playing unlicensed music

06 November 2007
Restaurateur pays a high price for playing unlicensed music

A restaurateur has paid a heavy price for failing to take out a music licence for his premises.

Hakim Mallem, who runs La Notte restaurant in Orpington, was told yesterday in the High Court by Mr Justice Norris that he had been "cocking a snook at the court".

The accusation came after Mallem ignored an earlier court order to stop playing unlicensed music in his restaurant.

Mallem had been facing a jail sentence as a result and only avoided one after he agreed to pay £1,025 for a backdated licence to play background music.

However, Mallem has been left facing massive legal costs of more than £25,000 to cover fees run up by the Performing Right Society (PRS) in taking him to court.

A spokesperson for not-for-profit PRS said: "Whenever you play a sound recording in public, there are two separate licence fees to be paid. PRS distributes its licence fees to composers and music publishers and Phonographic Performance collects a separate licence fee which they distribute to record companies, recording artists and musicians."

"A licence is required for any event except a family or domestic gathering, such as a wedding reception or birthday party."

In March Mallem was banned from playing music at the restaurant or any other premises he runs after being caught by a PRS inspector playing music without a licence.

Frequently asked questions about music fees >>
PRS writ hits wrong note >>
Licensing reform boosting live music in pubs a year on >>
Don't let music replace a good atmosphere >>

By a court reporter

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