Monday, December 19, 2005


Via Metafilter, the UK's Performing Rights Society has told music store owners that customers must pay fees if they perform any copyrighted music in the course of trying out an instrument.
Talking from his shop, the well-established Jones Music on Charlotte Street in Macclesfield, he asked: "Has anyone used their common sense here?"

Steve, who took over the 78-year-old established business a year ago, received a call out of the blue from PRS who asked if he or his customers tried out musical instruments.

He said: "I thought, what a daft question, of course we do."

When he said they did, they told him that if anyone played a riff – an identifiable piece of music – he was in breach of copyright and was breaking the law.

"They said it constituted a public performance!" he gasped. "I thought someone was winding me up.

"I have never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. It means that customers will either have to try something out without the piece sounding melodious or they will have to buy it untried.

"I am certainly not going to pay for a licence. I am making a stand for all musical instrument shops who are just going about their business."

Hurts to think how much I'd owe them in back royalties...

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