SOCIAL club bosses must face the music after being caught playing copyrighted tracks without a licence.
HMS Victory Club, in Easington Colliery, has been hit with a music ban at London’s High Court after a Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) inspector found music playing on the premises when it did not have a PPL licence.
The ban on the club, in School Street, was imposed by one of the country’s top judges, Mr Justice Morris, and its proprietors Robert Davidson and Steven Atkinson have been left with a legal costs bill of £1,833, to be paid by August 6.
The pair were also ordered not to play any more music at any other premises they run until they bring their music licence up to date.
Failure to obey the order and turn any premises it runs into a music-free zone until all licence fees are updated would be regarded as contempt of court, which can attract a fine of up to £10,000 and up to six months prison.
Charlotte Scott, counsel for PPL, told the judge that a PPL inspector had attended the premises on December 20, last year, and heard recorded tracks being played, including Trampoline, by Tinie Tempah.
The ban applies to all forms of mechanically recorded music such as records, tapes and CDs in PPL’s repertoire.
Music licences can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, depending on the size of the venue and the audiences involved.
Nazneen Nawaz, spokesperson for PPL, said: “PPL is the music licensing company which, on behalf of thousands of record company and performer members, licenses recorded music for broadcast, online and public performance use.
“Our 90,000 members include major record labels and independents as well as globally successful performers and session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers.
“The majority are small businesses, all of whom are legally entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances.
“PPL issues licences to hundreds of thousands of businesses and organisations across the UK when they play recorded music to their staff or customers and therefore require a licence by law.
“Licensees include bars, nightclubs, shops, hotels, offices, factories, gyms, schools, universities and public sector organisations up and down the country.
“After the deduction of PPL’s running costs, all licence fee income is distributed to members.
“PPL does not retain a profit for its services.”