Pub music charges deemed unfair by High Court

Organisations are now pursuing refunds for affected establishments

The High Court has ruled that the charges given to owners of pubs, restaurants and hotels by the Phonographic Performance Limited for playing recorded music in their establishments were unfair.

Organisations including the Beer And Pub Association and the British Hospitality Association had claimed that tariffs introduced in 2005 for playing copyrighted music in establishments were unfair – taking the case to tribunal. The copyright ruling from tribunal was upheld, reports BBC News.

UK establishments now pay a lower tariff and the organizations are attempting to secure collective refunds of up to £20 million, Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA said.

“With the appeal behind us, and pubs already benefiting from the sharply reduced charges, we are now turning our attention to helping pubs to claim the long overdue refunds to which they are entitled,” she said.

A spokeserson for the Phonographic Performance Limited said: “This leaves Phonographic Performance Limited with tariffs that it believes substantially undervalue the rights of its performer and record company members.”