4 July 2011
The High Court has ruled in favour of PRS for Music in a claim for over £85,000 against digital jukebox supplier, NSM Music Limited, who was refusing to pay music licence fees.
NSM Music Ltd held a Music Services (Business to Business) Scheme licence with PRS for Music to cover the provision of its jukebox services, but had failed to pay licence fees. Despite repeated attempts to resolve the licensing issue PRS for Music was forced to terminate the licence in May 2010, issuing proceedings against the company for an unpaid debt in relation to the licence totalling over £85,000.
NSM Music Ltd claimed that they were not obliged to pay the licence fees for their activities. On the 10th June, the Deputy Master of the High Court found that NSM Music Ltd had no reasonable prospect of successfully defending the claim, and dismissed the arguments raised in their defence as without merit.
The Deputy Master also described certain arguments raised by NSM Music Ltd as “completely untenable” and “perverse”. In addition to its claim, PRS for Music was awarded interest plus costs.
Andy Hind, head of recorded media licensing at PRS for Music said, “PRS for Music takes the protection of our members’ rights very seriously. The vast majority of our licensees fully appreciate and support the need to operate a licensed service. It is extremely disappointing that despite efforts to engage with NSM we were compelled to take this action. This Judgment affirms PRS for Music’s licensing approach to business-to-business music service providers, and we now hope to open a dialogue with NSM to ensure they operate a fully licensed service.”
The Deputy Master refused NSM Music Limited permission to appeal.