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Licensing: Music

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration was given to maintaining the status quo in the Government's response to the consultation on the requirement to pay royalties for playing recorded and broadcast music by charitable and not for profit organisations amending the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Higher Education and Intellectual Property)

holding answer 20 January 2010

The Government want a copyright system which achieves the correct balance between the interests of all parties. It is essential that third sector organisations are protected from excessive burdens and experience minimal disruption as they continue to provide their vital services. We must find a balance which is fair to both sides and is consistent with EU and international law.

The Government consider the current exemptions do not draw the correct balance between the interests of right holders and charitable and not-for-profit organisations. It is for this reason the maintenance of the status quo was not consulted on as an option for reforming the current system of exemptions. At present, if charities wish to play recorded or broadcast music they will have to pay for a licence from the Performing Rights Society (PRS for Music), which provides remuneration to songwriters and music publishers. But third sector organisations are exempt under UK law from requiring a PPL licence, which provides remuneration to performers and record labels, if certain conditions are met. The proposed repeal means that charities will now pay performers and record companies for the public playing of their recorded or broadcast music, in the same way as they already pay songwriters and music publishers.

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