On Fri, 1 Nov 2019 19:45:19 +0000, The Todal wrote...
Post by The Todal Post by Mike Scott
A PRS/copyright query. There's something here I clearly don't understand
Post by The Todal
My village hall now has to pay a massive fee to the PRS in the region of
1700 pounds per year, to cover everyone who uses the hall. But rather
oddly, the PRS has also asked our amateur drama group, which uses the
hall, to purchase its own licence.
It sounds to me as if your hall has the wrong sort of licence for
amateur dramatic performances. Hence the need to purchase one
PRS offer numerous different types of licence for different purposes.
Performances by an external drama group or choir or orchestra, selling
tickets to the public, wouldn't normally be covered by a flat annual
fee. It would be based on the number of bums on seats, and the hall
would have to make a regular return to PRS (quarterly I think, but I may
be wrong). As well as audience numbers, this also requires details of
the works performed, to help them estimate how much to pass on to
individual copyright holders. [*]
Regular theatres and concert halls with box offices know how many
tickets have been sold and just subtract the PRS fee when they pass the
ticket proceeds to the play/concert organiser. It would be more
difficult for a hall which isn't responsible for ticket sales: they
would have to ask the organiser, and make sure they can charge the
relevant fee on top of the hall hire charge. But that's what PRS really
want them to do.
[*] Works which are out of copyright shouldn't attract any royalty at
all, but it may be difficult to get that across to hall administrators.
Maybe the return they are asked to fill in doesn't make that clear.
Post by The Todal
I have written several times to the PRS to seek clarification and they
don't actually reply to correspondence. I want to know whether the
request for payment from individual groups is an error on their part or
whether they now make a huge amount more income from all these fees.
PRs is really poor at replying to individual queries. Before now I've
phoned and asked how to pay for a performance in a hall with the wrong
sort of licence. The chap on the phone was very helpful and asked for a
return detailing ticket sales and the works performed, so they could
work out how much to charge. I sent it, but never heard anything more.
(Change '.invalid' to '.plus.com' to reply direct)