Copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works (and other intellectual property). The Bermuda Copyrights and Designs Act 2004 (as amended) states that if you use copyright music in public (i.e. not for personal use), you must first obtain the permission of every writer or composer of the music you intend to play.
PRS for Music represents these copyright owners and so a music licence gives you the legal permission to play millions of songs controlled by us, saving you the time and money needed to gain permission from the music creators directly. A music licence from us is required regardless of whether you have bought any other type of licence.
PRS for Music licences cover the vast majority of music from around the world including Bermuda. PRS for Music has a repertoire of over 10 million songs from every genre so if you’re using music it’s highly likely to be music within our repertoire.
When a music creator becomes a member of PRS for Music they give us exclusive permission to license the public performance of their works. A music licence grants you legal permission to use our music.
However, if you play music that is outside of PRS for Music’s control, you may need an additional licence from the copyright owner(s). You do not need a licence from PRS for Music in the unlikely event that all the music you play is out of copyright and not controlled by PRS for Music.
In Bermuda, copyright in musical works generally lasts for a period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.
A licence from PRS for Music covers the majority of copyright music being played, but there is some music which is not covered by your licence, or for which you do not require a licence from us. A licence from PRS for Music does not cover:
If you believe you may be using music which does not require a licence from PRS for Music, you can call us for advice and information about the music which is covered by our licence. If you wish to use music which is advertised as not requiring a licence from PRS for Music, you should take reasonable steps to ensure that the music is correctly licensed.
Please note that some music which is not controlled by PRS for Music may become controlled by PRS for Music if the rights holder assigns their rights to us, or one of our affiliates, at a later date.
As with any licensing requirement, it is the responsibility of the music user to understand and meet their legal obligations.
Within Bermuda, everyone is required to comply with copyright law (as defined in The Bermuda Copyright and Designs Act 2004 (as amended).
If music is used in your premises, it is your responsibility to ensure that the correct licences are in place so that you and/or any person working on your premises can perform copyright music in public lawfully.
No. PRS for Music is a membership organisation representing the rights of 118,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. We ensure creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced.
As set out in the Bermuda Copyright and Designs Act 2004 (as amended) you require the permission of the copyright owner before you can play/perform their music in public. It is not part of the licences required from the Government when setting up a business.
We strive to ensure that businesses are aware of the need for our licence. We work with many trade associations and government departments in Bermuda and are always looking to build on this to help ensure businesses understand their requirements.
All business that play our members music in public require a PRS for Music licence. These are businesses such a bars, restaurants, hotels through to offices and factories. We will be looking to be in contact with everyone that requires a licence.
It is the music user’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct licences in place before using any copyright material. The higher royalty rate helps to cover our costs of identifying and contacting businesses and organisations using music without a licence.
Most of our tariffs have a higher royalty rate, which applies if the music user has not obtained a licence before starting to play music in their premises or at their event.
The higher royalty rate is the standard rate plus 50%, and applies to the first year of the licence only. The higher rate is not a statutory fine.
The higher royalty rate may be applied whenever the user has not applied for a licence in advance.
PRS for Music reserves all its rights, including the right to change its policy from time to time with regard to the application of the higher royalty rate.
PRS for Music licenses the public performance of music that is included on TV such as theme tunes, adverts and music played within films and TV programmes. If you have a TV you are likely to need a PRS for Music licence.
A PRS for Music Licence is an entirely separate legal requirement. Your subscription to your cable TV provider permits you to receive certain broadcast signals and therefore, programmes. It is not concerned with copyright material or public performance rights. You will need to pay for a Music Licence in addition to your cable TV subscription.
The radio station are licensed to broadcast our music, however, this does not cover the ‘public performance’ of this music in businesses such as shops, cafes, bars, offices and workplaces. It is the responsibility of the business to obtain a separate licence.
PRS for Music licenses the public performance of music that is included on talk radio such as theme tunes, adverts and music played underneath the speech.
We stay in touch with you to ensure your licence continues to meet your needs. Depending on the way you use music, this may be on an annual, quarterly or per event basis.
Customers can pay their invoices by direct bank transfer or sending a cheque to our office address.
Our terms and conditions will let you know your obligations for reporting the music that you use. Reporting music use is key to enabling us to ensure the correct members get paid and as such we are always looking for ways to increase the amount and the accuracy of the reporting we receive.
A music user, such as the proprietor of a business, requires a copyright licence covering the duration of copyright music use in their premises. Music users can choose to stop using copyright music on their premises and will not require a copyright licence once performances have ceased. However, they may be required to pay a licence fee to cover any copyright music use to that date.
You have paid the band/singer to perform in your business, not for the royalties associated with the performance. The band/singer maybe a member of ours or is very likely performing music belonging to one or more of our members.
We have a discount scheme for charity and community events. This allows organisers to apply for a discount which depends on the event meeting certain criteria. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
We have PRS for Music representatives based in Bermuda if you would like a personal visit please contact us and we’ll make the arrangements for you.
Lawyers in Bermuda will be able to advise you on your music licensing requirements. You may also wish to consult the website of the relevant Government department.
PRS for Music is the trading name of the Performing Right Society Ltd. The membership organisation was set up in 1914 by songwriters, composers and music publishers to collect licence fees from music users. PRS for Music then distributes these as royalties to its membership in the UK and around the world.
Under the Bermuda Copyright and Designs Act 2004 (as amended) if you play (perform) copyright music in public (i.e. outside of your home or domestic life), you must first obtain permission from the owner of the copyright in every piece of music that you intend to play. Potentially, this means you would have to contact thousands of songwriters, composers and publishers worldwide to obtain their agreement to play their songs.
Organisations like PRS for Music exist in many different countries. PRS for Music has reciprocal agreements with many of these societies, allowing it to license music use in the UK and the other territories it serves, including Bermuda.
A Music Licence from PRS for Music permits you to play over 10 million pieces of music, from the UK and around the world.
The cost of a Music Licence can depend on various factors such as venue capacity, number of staff and floor space. Our Bermuda tariff covers everything from music in bars and restaurants to music in shops and offices.
Please see the Bermuda tariff, or for a more detailed quote, please call us on 1-877-457-0079 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be announcing our nominated agent for Bermuda shortly. In the meantime you can contact us directly on 1-877-457-0079 or email@example.com in order to qualify for our standard a PRS for Music Licence at a discounted rate.