The music industry is in trouble what with ‘free’ downloads and artists sometimes avoiding the middle man and going straight for the ear. Is this why the Performing Rights Society (PRS) is running a campaign to get retailers to pay for a licence to broadcast music?

When I wrote about this in my last column it provoked a number of requests. Subhash Patel, for example, says he has just a small transistor radio and only listens to Talk Radio in his gaff, Choc Box, in Chessington. Surely this would make him exempt? I’m afraid not. The PRS says Talk Radio does play incidental music – the discussion could be about The Beatles and somewhere there will be a burst of ‘Yesterday’. However, there is a concession for Subhash and others like him.

A spokesman said: “There’s a reduced charge of £70.79 + VAT per year for those with only a small radio or TV.” Licences typically start from £106.05 a year and, points out the PRS, the majority of its members earn less than £5,000 a year from royalties. So, as consolation, you could consider that you are a small business helping to support another small business which has enhanced your environment.

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