Frequently asked questions regarding joint licensing for community buildings.
Copyright law exists to protect music in different ways. Businesses and organisations that play music in public will often require a licence from both PRS for Music and PPL. PRS for Music collects and distributes fees for the use of musical compositions (including lyrics) on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers. PPL collects and distributes fees for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers.
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (referred to below as the 1988 Act) states that playing music in public requires the permission of the copyright owner. Playing in public (also referred to as public performance) has a wide legal meaning covering the playing of music other than in a domestic setting. It therefore includes the use of music in community buildings, and PRS for Music has licensed such buildings for many years.
PPL has similarly licensed the public performance of recorded music for many years (with this licence covering the use of the recording itself), having been established in 1934. However, the 1988 Act previously contained exceptions which meant that, if certain conditions were met, a PPL licence was not required where recorded music was played in public as part of the activities of charities and certain other not-for-profit organisations. Therefore, in the past PPL has not licensed community buildings.
These exceptions have been revoked following a government consultation, with effect from 1 January 2011. From that date, community buildings playing recorded music are no longer exempt from requiring a PPL licence in addition to a PRS for Music licence. However, PPL is operating a ‘grace period’ throughout 2011, so community buildings will only require a PPL licence from 1 January 2012.
If you are a community building using recorded music you will now require a PPL licence as well as a PRS for Music licence. PRS for Music and PPL are working together to offer a joint licence, available through PRS for Music, as a one-stop solution to community buildings’ music licensing requirements.
Please note that a PPL licence will not be required if you only feature live bands, or in the unlikely event that the recorded music you play is not controlled by PPL. A PRS for Music licence is not required in the unlikely event that the only music you play, either recorded or during live events, is not controlled by PRS for Music.
The joint licence is administered by PRS for Music, acting on its own behalf and on behalf of PPL. PRS for Music will continue to be your point of contact for any queries or changes regarding your licence, and you will make a single payment of fees to PRS for Music.
To provide a simple solution for customers, PPL’s tariff for community buildings is very similar to the existing PRS for Music tariff. In particular, it applies to the same types of community buildings as PRS for Music tariff CB and uses the same definition of “income”. In summary, the PPL charges are calculated as follows:
PRS for Music charges continue to be calculated as:
Full details of the PPL and PRS for Music tariffs for community buildings can be found at the links below:
All rates displayed above exclude VAT, which will be added at the relevant rate.
PPL and PRS for Music royalty charges are calculated separately but will appear on the same invoice.
Where a community building complex includes a self-contained business which is separate from the activities of the voluntary organisation proper and uses a permanently dedicated area, income from that particular unit paid to the community organisation (for example rent) may be excluded from Defined income. If the separate business uses music they should apply direct for their own PRS for Music and/or PPL licence.
Upon receipt of your invoice you will have 14 days to pay. We offer various payment methods which we are happy for you to use:
Online – please visit www.prsformusic.com/payments
Phone – call out payment hotline 0845 300 7090
Direct Debit – please call 0845 309 3090 to pay by annual direct debit.
BACS – Please quote your Customer Account number, Customer name and Invoice number in your remittance advice to allow us to process your payment efficiently. Our account details are on the bank Giro Credit slip.
At the Bank – Please complete the Bank Giro Credit slip and hand this together with your payment at the bank.
Cheque – Please make cheques payable to PRS for Music and send the cheque to
Find out more on PPL's website
PRS for Music moved in November 2014, which may affect the way you contact us. Visit general enquiries to find out how to get in touch.