Nightclub banned from using music without a licence

December 2016

Live events sector



Essex nightclub Miya, which has featured in the hit ITV show The Only Way Is Essex, has been ordered to stop using music and sound recordings after a trial for copyright infringement.
In an action brought by Phonographic Performance Limited and PRS for Music (PPL and PRS) the Court found that Kerry Ormes, the nightclub’s designated premises supervisor, (charged with the day-to-day management of premises under the Licensing Act 2003) was liable for authorising and procuring acts infringing copyright, namely the playing of sound recordings and musical works at the club without the requisite licences from PPL and PRS for Music. Ormes had denied liability say the licences were not her responsibility, but the court found that Ormes acted as the nightclub manager and that her responsibilities would generally include the booking of DJs and dealing with promoters. Clark awarded PPL and PRS for Music an injunction against the defendant to prevent further infringement by Ormes at any public premises, and awarded damages against Ormes personally. A costs hearing will take place in January 2017.
PPL said that it had repeatedly contacted the business owner to get the correct licensing in place and only after that failed was proceedings issued in the High Court.


Christine Geissmar, PPL operations director, said: ‘There is an intrinsic value that music adds to businesses, and this judgement acknowledges that the creators of the music should be fairly rewarded for this. This ruling demonstrates how seriously the courts treat copyright infringement and reiterates that music can only be played in public if the right licences are obtained. Those businesses that choose to play recorded music without a licence will face legal action as a result.

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