Monday, April 20, 2009

PRS: Now hiring

Thanks to Ian for pointing us in the direction of the copyright investigator role currently on offer with the good people of the PRS:

Vacancy Notice
Job title:
Copyright Investigator
Public Performance Sales
Home Based
The Role:
The above vacancy in the PPS Copyright Protection Office has arisen, creating the
need to recruit a face to face Sales professional to cover Northern England, from
the Mersey to the wash upwards, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The ideal person
will be required to deal with Copyright Infringers who currently use PRS music,
but without the necessary PRS for Music licence being in place.
You will be required to manage the collection and processing of music data from
licensable premises to produce reports that may lead to civil action in the UK
courts for Copyright Infringement.
Key Responsibilities include:
• Conducts inspections of buildings / premises for music usage activities and
carries out personnel checks re: ownership of premises
• Issues copyright music licence contracts
• Conducts threat and risk assessments via undercover visits to premises
• Organises the collection of music usage data, collation and analysis of that
music data via undercover visits to premises
• Compiles and disseminates the music usage data using briefings, reports and
face to face meetings
• Ascertains the accuracy of data collected by checking various databases, this
then allows legal proceedings to commence if the customer refuses a licence
• Compiles legal infringement reports which are used in UK Court cases
• Attends UK Courts as a witness for PRS in current infringement cases
• Maintains manual and computer-based databases
The ideal candidate:
• Results driven and a sound record in achieving / over achieving revenue
targets and KPI’s
• Knowledge and experience of field sales techniques including preparation,
journey planning, influencing, negotiating, objection handling and
• Excellent communication and presentation skills required in promoting PRS
as a professional music service provider
• Strong initiative, dynamic, resilient, highly organised and self motivation
qualities are essential requirements
• You will possess good analytical skills and must be computer literate
(M/soft Office: Excel, Word and Outlook)
The successful candidate should ideally reside in the territories.
Salary: £30k per annum + annual bonus

There are a couple of things to notice about this. First: the job title says it's for a "copyright investigator", but they're actually looking for a sales person.

So is the PRS in business of selling or is it in the business of licensing? Both are about taking money off people, but there's a subtle and important difference between providing something that people need, which is a licensing role, and convincing people to buy something, which is a sales role.

Now, if the PRS wants to sell licenses rather than check compliance, fair enough. But there's something a little off with an organisation which equips its salesforce with a quasi-legal role, too. Door-to-door encyclopedia salespeople seldom had a separate role of compiling evidence to be used in court cases against those who didn't have the full run from Aardvark to Zygote.

And even then, perhaps the dual role wouldn't be so curious, were it not for this demand:
Results driven and a sound record in achieving / over achieving revenue
targets and KPI’s

The job is not about making sure everyone has a licence. It's looking for someone to hit - and exceed - revenue targets. And there's a bonus being dangled.

You start to see why mechanics get demands for radios in other rooms, and horses are suddenly finding themselves having to cough up for PRS licences.

And let's just consider this piece again:
Conducts threat and risk assessments via undercover visits to premises

Undercover visits? Do you also get a super-spy-decoder ring?

Hey - you know who would be perfect for this? That bloke with the hat who has been doing Tony Gordon's work for him. He already has the hat and the long-lens camera for playing at spies.

And, coming from Weatherfield, he meets that other vital criteria:
The successful candidate should ideally reside in the territories.

"The territories" being anywhere north of Peterborough. So you'd have to live in Manchester, or possibly Uist, or Belfast. Or maybe Scarborough. You know, somewhere local to outside London.

Let's remind ourselves, too, of the PRS' strange view of themselves:
Copyright Infringers who currently use PRS music

PRS music? What, exactly, is PRS music? It's music, surely, that presently the PRS handles some of the rights for. Even Capita haven't yet got so brazen as to pretend that TV Licensing owns the BBC.

And they're at it later on, too:
promoting PRS as a professional music service provider

But you don't provide "music services". You provide licensing services. You might add "for music" to your name, but you don't have anything to do with actual music, do you? You could just as easily be inspecting horsehoes or buckets.

Still, if you've got the right skills: your own trilby, a background in espionage and sales, and don't live very near the sparkling Regent's Park head offices, why not pop in an application? If the PRS don't strike a deal with the online music services soon, they're going to need to shake down as many small businesses as they possibly can.

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