I sometimes bang on about reading the terms and conditions before you sign stuff. Well, Mike Thompson read the T&Cs presented to him by the music licensing body PPL and has become embroiled in an interesting wrangle over them.
He received an invoice requesting payment. Someone from PPL had obviously rung his Nisa Local store in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, and a member of staff (unauthorised) confirmed the use of music.
As a Nisa member Mike is obliged to accept the group’s in-store advertising which is mixed with music.
Once he received PPL’s invoice plus T&Cs, he got his magnifying glass out and had a close read.
If he had signed to accept, it would have given PPL the right to enter his premises at any time and remain for as long as they like. He is therefore in dispute as he kept pointing out in the long trail of correspondence (which include letters from two debt collecting agencies).
He adds: “Another section in the terms and conditions states that I must inform PPL of other illegal activities concerning the rights of its members which come to my notice - I have advised that in my opinion there are at least 250,000 taxi drivers in England and Wales which don’t appear to be ‘supporting the cause’. Didn’t get a thank you, but basically told to mind my own business. It appears to me they only go after ‘the soft touches’.”
PPL has responded: “The inspection right in PPL’s standard terms is actually very narrow. It only applies where we have a reasonable belief that our rights are being infringed, and it only allows us to check that the licensing information provided to us is correct and that the other conditions of the standard terms are being met. We would only expect to use the inspection right in exceptional cases, but it is an important safeguard for our members.”