The Fair Organ Preservation Society Discussion Forum

Page 1 of 1

Author:  georgieboy [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  PRS

Hi, I am new to "The Forum" but have been around the organ scene for a few years and must admit I haven't given much thought to the legalities of public performances with our organs. I now wish to produce a couple of CDs of my organ and wondered if any one can enlighten me as regards A, do I need a PRS license to play the organ in public and B. What are the requirements regarding PRS for the selling of home produced CDs of my fairground organ music? I am sure these questions have been asked before but there are probably many like me oblivious to our legal position on this matter. Regards Georgieboy

Author:  organeer [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

Number one rule, as usual, is don't get caught, & remember it is usually easier to get forgiveness than permission.
There has been a lot of discussion on the heavy-handed methods of the PRS. Once in, never out. Bit like the Mafia.

Author:  Dave Stubbs [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

Hi georgieboy!

Welcome to the forum.

The PRS have become more proactive recently, so you should have a PRS licence for public performances of a fair organ.

I have even heard of the PRS visiting vehicle servicing garages where a radio is playing for the mechanics and told them they need a licence to play the music!

It depends whether you are 'commercial' or not as to which licence you require, but in general you will require a "Mobile business and limited uses" licence which is referred to by the PRS as "ML Tariff". It usually costs about £25 + VAT for an annual licence.

If you are playing the organ at a public event, the organisers of the event will have a licence that should cover you, but there are always those 'impromptu performances' for private events where you really should have your own licence.

There is some information for organ owners, which includes PRS information...and I must add a direct link on the website menu sometime to make it more visible...on:

Regarding selling CDs. This is more complex, because you need to go through the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), when you wish to distribute a recording of music...unless you are playing your own compositions!

The MCPS and PRS are related and are both on the same website.

Author:  georgieboy [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

Thanks for that info Dave. Georgieboy

Author:  StoneRoad [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS


I've just had the PRS ask us if we play radios, or other music in our workshop......
so they are really getting into things - and I've heard the same thing about garages (from the gent who services my motor!).....

If the radio station making the broadcast that you are listening to, has paid their PRS licence, why does a private workshop ie no public!, have to pay to listen to that same music.....

Author:  George Houghton [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

The PRS have been forcing workshops and business premises who play music from a radio to pay a fee for some years.
I wonder if they can still use the same criteria if the music is played by the music channels on a Television set because it could be argued that you have already paid a TV licence to receive the programmes. Just a thought. :wait2:

George :tiphat:

Author:  Greg Middleton [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

Unfortunately the law makers seem to have issued a license to print money to the PRS, I respect the fact that a composer should get paid for his work (my son is a composer, though certainly not of organ music!) but the PRS can charge over and over again for the same thing.
The arranger I buy MIDI files from has to pay them to sell an arrangement, I have to pay them to perform the arrangement, and if I sell a CD I have to pay them yet again!.

It's about time this triple charging scam was stopped but the music industry is rich, and that buys MPs votes in our 'democracy'. It's quite amazing how everyone gets so heated about MPs expenses, but ignores the fact that their votes can be bought when they're supposed to be our elected representatives, a far more serious matter to my mind.

I have a performance license because I take the organ to local charitable events which may or may not have their own license, it's not for me to demand to see proof and for £25 a year I'm not going to get the wrong side of the PRS. I also have insurance through FOPS, partly to cover destruction of the organ but mainly to cover my backside in this litigation culture the same government has created.


Author:  Rob Barker [ Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

No matter who you vote for, the government always gets in!

Author:  Dave Stubbs [ Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

It all comes down to the copyright on the 'media' being played/viewed.

Generally, the copyright only covers private use and anything that allows the media to be overheard or seen by other people requires a public performance licence.

If you play pre-recorded, as opposed to broadcast media at a business premises, or in public, I think you also require what is called a "Phonographic Performance Licence" (PPL).


Author:  StoneRoad [ Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

So does that mean the local "youffs" driving round with their "in-car entertainment system" playing loud enough for half the neighbourhood to hear, quite clearly, every note, should also pay the PRS? That's a right nightmare....

I've no objection to copyright 'per se' - in fact I detest pirate copies! - it is the multiple charging aspect that offends me.....I've bought a legal copy, thus paying the fee, why should I have to pay again to play it.....what about if I have a passenger in my car who is not a member of my domestic family?

Author:  Greg Middleton [ Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

StoneRoad wrote:
So does that mean the local "youffs" driving round with their "in-car entertainment system" playing loud enough for half the neighbourhood to hear, quite clearly, every note, should also pay the PRS? That's a right nightmare....

It's well documented that the PRS go after easy targets, their people wander around listening for music coming from fixed business premises because it's easy money :shake2:

The whole copyright system needs a complete overhaul, as highlighted by the latest developments in the ACS Law cases. It really isn't working well for anyone, I've heard my son's music coming from fairground rides and he doesn't get a penny because the operators know they can get away with not paying.


Author:  Bob Essex [ Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

It would be interesting to know on what legal basis the PRS is founded.
As far as I am aware the PRS is not a government body, but is a self-appointed organisation. It may well be a QUANGO, (quasi-autonamous non-government organisation) in which case, let's hope it is for the chop!
I am told that their inspectors report on the playing frequency of each particular piece of music. This results in the top 30 or 40 tunes in the charts receiving about 90+ percent of the money collected, (less salaries for the staff, rent of enormous glass palaces etc.)
Because fair organs do not play chart music, payments to composers of fair organ music is virtually nil. But figures are never released by the PRS about monies received and paid out.
The whole system is grossly unfair and is really designed to keep self-important people in cushy jobs.
It is my view that the organ societies, such as FOPS, should be actively campaigning at parliamentary level for an end to this gross injustice.
Bob Essex

Author:  StoneRoad [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRS

have a quick look at the prs website...quite "interesting" I think you'll agree....

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group