Friday, 8 December 2017

Office Party Music Copyright Dilemma

So you have your Now Christmas CD and you have gathered the staff ready for the Office Christmas Party but hang on, before you clear the desk to dance along to Wham's Last Christmas, a man from the Performing Right Society (PRS) wants a word.
Music copyright is a minefield and at 327 pages long, you would need to have started reading the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in July to have found the relevant section but when you do it states: 'If music is ever played on your premises for customers or staff; for example, through radio, TV, CD, MP3 or computer speakers, this is considered a ‘public performance’ and you need to get permission from the copyright holder to ‘perform’ music in public and should therefore obtain a music licence'.
So you can't play music from a CD at work with the only exceptions being a hospital or a residential homes for the elderly or disabled or if the recording is out of copyright and is now in the public domain where legal copyright protections have expired and no permission from the owner is required to use the work.
Your options are then to pay the PRS the required £224.85 for a music licence or only play songs that are out of copyright and according to the Public Domain Popular Song Database, there are a few Christmas songs you can rock out to without fear of the PRS banging on your door.

The seasonal list includes:
Auld Lang Syne   
Away In a Manger   
Deck the halls
First Nowell   
Good King Wenceslas   
Hark ! The Herald Angels Sing   
Holly and the Ivy   
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day   
I Saw Three Ships   
In the Bleak Midwinter   
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Jingle Bells   
Joy to the World   
O Christmas Tree
O Come All Ye Faithful   
O Come, O Come, Emanuel
O Holy Night   
O Little Town of Bethlehem   
Once in Royal David's City   
Silent Night   
We Three Kings   
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
While Shepherds Watched

Not exactly banging tunes i agree but all songs you can play with a clear conscience that Noddy Holder and Mariah Carey are not being deprived of their 75p a play for their songs or alternatively, drag in a couple of pensioners, turn the CD Player up to 10 and say it's a old peoples home if Noddy asks.

1 comment:

Q said...
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