Open letter to PRS Members

Dear Member,

You may be aware an application has been made to the Competition Appeal Tribunal by David Rowntree, seeking to bring an action against PRS on behalf of writer members. In light of this, we wanted to take the opportunity to share our full statement with you and to highlight where you can find more information.


PRS for Music rejects the allegations set out in this claim, which are factually incorrect and fundamentally misrepresent our policies and operations. PRS is owned by its members and its rules, which are robust and determined by members, treat the interests of both writers and publishers fairly.

The claim is based on a misinterpretation of PRS’ governance and operational practices, as well as the flow of royalties between publishers and the writers they represent. PRS is world leading in the accuracy and timings of its royalty distributions.  It provides far greater transparency than other collecting societies, publishing unparalleled detail on the royalties it collects and pays out in its Annual Transparency Report (ATR).  Members approve the appointment of PRS’ independent auditors, who audit the ATR. The members then approve the ATR at the AGM.

For over two years PRS has constructively engaged with the Claimant’s legal representatives and has repeatedly offered to meet with the Claimant. Despite this, and the misconceived nature of the claim, an application has been made for consideration by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Unfortunately, this means PRS will need to allocate significant resources to defend a proposed class action brought in the name of members - against their own society.

Nonetheless, PRS will continue to operate in the best interests of its members by robustly defending itself against these allegations.

We have put together a short Q&A on the Competition Appeal Tribunal, class action proceedings and the next steps in the process. You can find this in the Member Update section via your online account or by clicking here.

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