Music Licensing for Community Centres

Music licensing is one of the most ubiquitous kinds of licensing there is, however not that many people are aware of it. For the most part, whenever you hear music being played in public, for instance on the radio or in a shop or a restaurant, it has been licensed. Therefore, it follows that if you own a bar, club or community centre you’ll need to get a licence if you’re planning on playing music in public. 

There are two kinds of music licence, and you might either need one, both or none of these. There is the PRS licence, this licence ensures that royalties go to the songwriters, people who own the music copyright when music is performed in public, and there is the PLL, which similarly collects royalties but for the playing of sound recordings.

It is important to point out various instances where you will not require at least one of these licences. For example, if where to play recorded music which is no longer in copyright, then you’ll only require a PPL licence.  Or if you’re playing or performing music for religious worship then you don’t require either licence. There are many more exceptions and nuances in the legislation and this is worth discussing with a solicitor.

Many people who run community centres assume they are exempt from music licensing laws, but this is no longer the case and you may be requiring a PLL or PRS licence, such as in the instances mentioned above.