This from Al-Beeb
Lyn Ball was preparing for her next customer at Mane Connections, the hair salon she runs in a market town in the South West of England, when a man, looking not unlike a sales rep, popped into her shop.
But far from trying to sell her anything the visitor introduced himself as being from the Performing Right Society (PRS) and promptly issued her with a demand for a £200 music licence.
What had Ms Ball done to warrant this notice? Turn on her radio.
Oh for crying out loud.
OK let’s look at the business angle.
You’re sitting down having your hair done when you hear a tune that you like very much. On your way back home you stop off at the supermarket, and having heard the tune, buy the album of the artist you heard in the hairdresser. It’s called advertising. Should libraries be forced to pay a surcharge (for this is what this is) to publishing houses for all the books and magazines that have been loaned?
The PRS claim on their website that they are a ‘not-for-profit organisation, enabling you access to the world’s music in the most efficient way.’ Really? Does all the money go to Romanian orphans, or to Hug-A-Polar-Bear? No? Then how is this not for a profit?
Oh, you mean the PRS doesn’t make a profit. Right then, who administers it? Well, with ten board members being from music publishers, I think we can be certain where most of the cash that gets collected goes. Not for profit, my arse.
Is it any coincidence that as music downloads become more popular that the PRS start hounding more people for money? I’m betting it is the publisher that is driving this, a real artist wants recognition more than renumeration, they can play live, charge good money for entry and sell merchandise and make a very nice living indeed. The publishers can only rely on sales of recordings. Besides, how do they know which artists to dole the cash out to?
This is the classic behaviour of a cartel that finds the landscape is changing and that finds they are incapable of dealing with it. So, they’ll chase the little man and threaten them that if they turn their radio on and don’t display one of these licences that it may ‘result in civil action against you for copyright infringement and you may be liable to pay damages and costs.’
Of course, if it is only civil action, any representative from the PRS coming into my own place of business would be shown the door pretty bloody quick and told to come back and collect his evidence when it was a criminal offence.
One final question, if I was listening to the radio at work, it would be talk radio. Now, tell me, who should I be handing the cash to in that instance?
And they have the nerve to call bootleggers ‘pirates’.