Pensioners unlicensed tea dance attracts the attention of the PPL

December 2004

Record Labels, Music Publishers

Dancers at an over-60’s tea dance club are calling to be let off from paying fees for copyright use. Members of the High Wycombe club face having no music if they do not pay the a-year charge to the Performing Rights Society and Phonographic Performance Limited. The club, who meet once a fortnight at the Reggie Groves Centre in High Wycombe are appealing to the societies to waive the fee. The members enjoy two hours of dance to the music provided by 87-year-old Charlie Bristow from his personal CD collection. Mr Bristow, who has won national dancing awards, said dancing was good healthy exercise for older people. Charlie has been running the club for 16 years, playing organ and dance band music from people such as Victor Sylvester and Joe Loss. “None of that modern rubbish”, he says. Mr Bristow went to Wycombe District Council to complain about the extra costs and to see if the council could help with cash But the council could not offer much help saying that it was the PPL calculated how much people had to pay, not the council. The club was let off paying last year but would have had to pay this year. It was only a further 6p on the entrance fee the council noted, adding that the club got a discounted rent and had a grant from the council. Phonographic Performance Limited said it would not waive the fee, which it considers reasonable. The fee goes to the record labels, recording artists and session artists. The PRS fee goes to songwriters.

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