"I told them it's for personal viewing. The staff has no access to the room. It's just an empty space where I go for a break that has somewhere to sit and a TV."
Her husband uses the room as well, although Pam says they don't take breaks together.
I think the PRS rep she spoke to suspects they may meet in the doorway and have a quick dance to the theme tune for Coronation Street. "He kept going on about Coronation Street," says Pam. "Is my TV licence only for the pictures and not the sound?"
The spokesman I had a conversation with said: "The music only has to be on for a second for it to count as a public performance." However, in this case, it isn't public at all and what Pam forgot to tell the PRS was that she doesn't pay business rates on the space upstairs and it has nothing to do with the store downstairs. If they added facilities, like a bathroom and kitchen, they could rent it out, but then have nowhere to flop for a few minutes.
There is an exception to a PRS licence for workplaces where a lone worker can listen to music so long as he or she is in total isolation. We struggled to think of an example.
"Security guard," I offered. The PRS man agreed. Then I said: "What if he has a dog with him?"
PRS is a non-profit organisation created to collect fees from music users which it distributes to its members the writers and publishers of music (most of whom are independents, like your good selves).