I like music. I have a broad appreciation of various genres and can even play a little guitar and piano. Music is useful in many retail situations like shops, restaurants, bars and pubs. It's also nice in some work situations to have a bit of something to cheer the day along.
Most customers don't think about the implications of playing music in a public space. Indeed, you might work in a place where the radio is on giving nice background vibes, and not realise that your employer is faced with a little problem.
PRS and PPL are organisations that supposedly collect money for music authors, recording artists and music publishers. They feed the line that without them artists would not get paid for their work. In reality, in this bloggers view, they are money grabbing monopolies. I simply do not agree with their policies, tactics and most importantly their apparent assertion that there is no other choice available for the business owner who wishes to stay the right side of the law.
Admittedly, if you wish to play popular contemporary music, in almost any public or work situation, this might in fact be true. Almost every artist, their promoter, recording company and distribution rights are, in fact, controlled by PRS and PPL. To play most well known music you need to have a licence with each of these rather dubious organisations. I think it is wrong that you cannot avoid it if you wish to play well-known music.
What really gets me is that royalties are collected from broadcasters for airplay. If I allowed a radio in the brewery I'd have to subscribe to PRS and PPL. We currently we don't allow a radio because I do not see why I should pay for something that has already been paid for. However, the law as it stands not only allows for this double charging, but demands it. I think it is wrong to insist that if my staff wish to bring in their own radio that I have to pay for that facility.
To digress slightly, if you wish to buy my beer, you could go to Booths stores, for instance. Or you could buy it on-line from our web-shop. Or you could go to our preferred on-line retailer, Beer Ritz. Equally you might like to pop into any number of specialist off-licences. Or, you could go to a good pub or even a craft beer bar.
You see, we give you a choice as to where you buy our products. We do not believe that any sort of monopoly is a good thing. But there is a choice with music too, provided you are happy to go with talented unsigned artists. There are various systems for alternative PRS and PPL free music. I think it's a great idea as it helps not only to provide an alternative to the dubiousness of the apparent single option, but also gives an alternative to creative music artists as a route to market.
We've got in MusicStream in Hardknott OnTrack. We like it. It sort of conforms to our non-conformist take on everything. The music is good too, with way more genres than we'll ever need. There is even jazz, if you are into that sort of thing, which I'm not, and so have banned Neil from playing, much to his disgust, and probably some of my readers too.
For our size of little bar PRS and PPL might not be any more expensive, but that's not the point. PRS and PPL phone us up and give the impression that there is no other choice. This is simply not true.