Mark Bristow, who runs Wessex News in Yeovil, Somerset, says he plays no music whatsoever in his store, but is annoyed to keep receiving calls from licensing bodies PRS/PPL (like many, he mixes the two up so wasn’t sure which rang the most).
His says they amount to nuisance calls and no matter how many times he tells them that he doesn’t need a licence, they persist in calling. I said I would ask on his behalf how/if one could stop the calls.
PPL told me that it had never contacted Mark, while the PRS spokesman said: “We did contact Wessex News on September 20 and were told that no music was used and so we have not contacted the business since. We’ve analysed the records and in December 2009 the business was contacted, but he hung up on our operator before it was established whether music was used - we didn’t contact again until this September, so a large gap.
“Before that we contacted him in 2008 and the call was classed as ‘no outcome’, meaning we probably did not speak to what we would class as the decision-maker. Hopefully, you can see from these records that we have employed quite a light touch in regard to our music licensing approach and I don’t believe this could be classed as nuisance calling.”
Well, Mark begs to differ. He is adamant that he has had at least four calls in the past few weeks, some to staff, some to himself.
This led Mark and I to wonder whether there could be some sort of scam going on? A disgruntled ex-employee armed with a list, looking for ‘fees’?
Both organisations said they were unaware of current scams, although PRS did have such a problem in Scotland in 2009, since resolved.
PRS added: “We hope to work more closely with PPL in future to introduce a single licence to cover both rights.”
That would be good.