High Court Judgment: Remix Bar, Woking and PRS for Music
1st March 2012
PRS for Music welcomes the judgment of the Deputy High Court Judge, Kevin Prosser QC, in the case against Remix Bar in Woking, and the Judge’s positive comments about the organisation and the damages awarded. This is a victory for common sense, for all those businesses that have obtained and paid for licences to cover their music use and for the music creators that PRS for Music represents.
The music licence held by Remix expired in December 2008 and despite repeated attempts to ensure a correct licence was in place, PRS for Music ultimately had to take legal action. Taking a customer to court is alwa s a last resort and in thirty years this is only one of three cases to reach trial. This could have easily been avoided, saving the bar owners Alexander and William Burns – one of whom is a music DJ himself and creator of music – both time and money.
The Judge’s findings and the damages awarded reflect the seriousness of the infringement and the continued resistance of the Defendants to comply with their contractual and legal obligations. The legal action PRS for Music took was necessary to protect and defend the rights of its members and to echo the words of Kevin Prosser QC, “In order to protect its rights and the interest of its members, PRS must investigate whether music is being performed without a licence, and also whether licensees are performing music in public in excess of their declared usage. As a last resort, PRS brings legal proceedings for non-payment of royalties and for infringement of its copyright.”
Keith Gilbert, Director of Public Performance Sales at PRS for Music, said: “Although taking legal action is never our preferred option we were forced down this path by the owners of Remix Bar who repeatedly evaded their obligations to pay for the music used. I’m delighted the court found in our favour and am heartened by the recognition of why PRS for Music had to bring legal proceedings. Our role is to protect the rights of our members; ensuring businesses that wish to use music can do so easily and are correctly licensed.”