It’s been a bone of contention for small businesses and sports clubs, who play music for the benefit of their customers or staff, the requirement for licences both from the Performing Rights Society (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL). However, as a result of the joint report by Richard Hooper and Dr Ros Lynch, on streamlining copyright licensing, it now lessens some of the onerous requirements of double-application licensing.

As from 1 December 2013 small work places with four or fewer employees should have received information that they can obtain a joint licence administered solely by the PPL where the music played is purely for the benefit of the employees.  Also, from 1 January 2014, the requirement of a joint licence application has been extended to not for profit organisations (NPOs) and amateur sports clubs.  Again, this will be administered by the PPL.

It is intended that this will be reviewed in three years to establish if there are any problems. Amateur sports clubs, NPOs and small work places that currently hold a licence should have been contacted directly to inform them of the new arrangements. However, if no licence is held and music is played on the premises or TV is broadcast then an application should be made to the PPL for the new joint licence.