Higher education FAQs

What are you announcing today?

We are announcing a consultation process on the PRS for Music Higher Education (currently tariff ‘UC’) tariff.

What is the purpose of this consultation?

PRS for Music is running a consultation on the terms of a new Higher Education tariff, reflecting our effort to simplify how we license this sector. We have recently embarked on an extensive programme to review and simplify over 40 public performance tariffs. The aim of this project is to create tariffs that are easy to understand and operate as well as licences that are simple to purchase and manage.

How have you approached this consultation?

New and/or significant amendments to tariffs are undertaken in line with our published Code of Conduct, which requires us to operate fair, reasonable and proportionate consultations. On this specific consultation we have undertaken comprehensive internal analysis as well as liaised with Universities UK and National Union of Students in developing proposals that promote simplicity and transparency for both our customers and members.

What does the PRS for Music Higher Education Tariff cover?

The tariff covers ‘public performance’ of music at universities and other higher education institutions, including their student unions (1). In some cases music uses are permitted by law to be undertaken by educational establishments without the licence of the copyright owner; the public performance of music used as part of the teaching syllabus is generally exempt from the licence requirement but music played for non-curricular purposes at premises for students or staff, for example through TV, radio, stereo systems, computers, or at live music events is considered a licensable public performance (2).  In such cases the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 states that permission must be sought from the copyright holder to perform music in public. For further details on what is covered, please see the consultation documentation.

Where can I find the current tariffs applicable to this sector?

You can download the applicable tariffs from our Higher Education consultation page.

What happens to the licence fees collected under tariff UC?

There are a number of methods to track the music being played in different environments including surveys on businesses and by tracking radio play that allows us to distribute the licence fees collected as accurately and efficiently as possible. Nearly 90 percent of all the money collected goes to the songwriters, composers and publishers of the works in our licensable repertoire- we just deduct our running costs.

When does PRS for Music distribute the royalties under tariff UC?

PRS for Music distributions are normally made four times a year, in April, July, October and December. We aim to include payments in the second quarterly distribution after the event has taken place. For example, music performed in May would be included in the October distribution.

View the Distribution policy

Where can I find the PRS for Music Code of Conduct?

Our Code of Conduct is published on the PRS for Music website.

What will happen next? What is the timescale and when will you be publishing your findings?

The Higher Education consultation runs for 8 weeks. The deadline for responses is 9 November 2015. Following this, we will review all responses thoroughly and publish their summary on our website.

How can I put my opinion forward?

We value your feedback and encourage you to submit your responses via our online response form questionnaire. Alternatively, you can download the questionnaire response form and email it to us at by 9 November 2015.

I still have a question about the Higher Education tariff consultation.

If you are visually impaired or require further assistance in responding to the Higher Education consultation, please email or phone +44 (0)870 333 7003.

1. Copyright law defines a performance of music ’in public’ as including any acoustic presentation of  copyright music  to an audience consisting of individuals outside of the composer’s domestic or home circle, which would include students and staff at an higher education institution

2. Where PRS repertoire is contained in a broadcast which is recorded and communicated by electronic transmission to teachers and pupils at a higher education institution for the educational purposes of that establishment, the communication of our works in this way is licensed by the Educational Recording Agency (“ERA”).

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