Sunday, December 09, 2007

PRS play Scrooge

Dam House is a grade two listed building in Astley, Greater Manchester, which was saved for the greater good by public-spirited fund raisers who pulled together the cash to keep the building a community facility.

In part, it's running costs are funded by a tearoom. To make the buttering and scone-filling more agreeable, the staff have a radio in the kitchen.

Enter, stage left, the PRS. Standing in the tearoom, the bat-eared PRS rep believed they could hear the radio leaking through into the public area. The PRS demanded that - since, clearly, people would be going to the attraction to sit, straining their ears, to hear a radio programme they could listen to at home - the charity cough up for a PRS licence.

Somehow, the charity scraped together £230.

But the PRS are like the mafia - once you pay them, they're always going to be back and demanding more. This year, they want £470.06.

Why more?

A spokesman from PRS said: "Morts Astley Heritage Tearooms has been quoted £470.06 for a PRS Music Licence, based on the music usage information it provided to PRS.

"The business completed our standard reassessment form in which it indicated that its music usage had increased since it purchased a PRS Music Licence last year. Based on this information, a new invoice reflecting the increase in music usage was issued on November 10, 2007.

"We are in contact with Morts Astley Heritage Tearooms Ltd directly since they spoke of their concerns on BBC Radio Manchester to ensure the details they provided PRS are correct."

And what was this "increase in music usage" of which the PRS spoke?

A children's carol concert.

Ho-ho-ho. Merry Christmas.


2 comments:

James said...

I don't remember the PRS getting so much press for being evil in the past. Is this a recent thing? It seems like in the last few months, they've been popping up in the papers weekly, targetting radios in Kwik Fit garages, shutting down orphanages because the children were heard whistling 'Umbrella' too loudly, etc.

Have they decided to raise their public profile, and thought that the best way to do it was to become a Tesco Value RIAA?

simon h b said...

They had a walk-on comedy villain role in the Archers a few years ago: Sid Perks didn't have a PRS licence for his jukebox...

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