PRS for Music has a number of non-charging policies that define circumstances in which we choose not to make a charge for our licence.
Currently PRS for Music has non-charging policies that relate to the following areas:
- Medical music therapy
- Healthcare premises
- Residential homes
- Music used in divine worship
- Music used in wedding ceremonies, civil wedding ceremonies and civil partnership ceremonies
- Police Stations
- Crematoria, chapels of rest and funeral parlours
- Private family events
- Small bed & breakfast establishments & single self-catering units
- Universities and other institutes of higher education
- Dance Schools
- The Queen's 90th birthday
These non-charging policies apply to the public performance of our music in the circumstances described. Any other uses of music may require payment of a licence fee. You are responsible for making sure you have the right licences in place and you should check if there is any uncertainty.
Please note that PRS for Music non-charging policies are entirely at the discretion of PRS for Music - we reserve the right to change these policies with reasonable notice.
1. Medical music therapy
PRS for Music does not make a charge for music used as part of medical music therapy sessions, in whatever premises those sessions take place. Medical music therapy means formal therapy sessions where music is an integral part of the therapy, used for the direct benefit of individuals with diagnosed conditions.
Medical music therapy does not include background music use as part of other kinds of medical or non-medical therapy, such as physiotherapy or massage, as music is not an integral part of the therapy.
2. Healthcare premises
We do not make a charge for our licence in the following circumstances:
- Background music use in treatment and therapy areas within hospitals and clinics (including outpatient units attached to hospitals), except where a specific charge is made to the patient for the use of music. This includes areas used by patients (such as patient wards, patient day rooms, patient dining rooms, treatment rooms and operating theatres). A licence fee is payable for other areas such as foyers and waiting rooms, cafes, restaurants, music at events, staff only areas and staff clubs.
- Any music use in a hospice, refuge or similar premises, where the music use is consistent with the activity of the centre.
- Background music use in certain areas of medical day centres, exclusively used by patients/attendees who have been referred to the centre by their medical practitioner (or similar). These premises are considered the same as hospitals and clinics. PRS for Music does not make a charge for background music use in treatment and therapy areas or areas such as patient lounges and dining rooms.
This policy does not cover GP surgeries or dental practices, nor cosmetic treatment and therapy areas in the non-medical sector (e.g. beauty therapy, nail-bars). This policy does not cover non-medical day centres. For all other healthcare premises, a licence fee remains payable.
3. Residential homes
This policy relates to premises such as residential homes for the elderly or disabled and premises within sheltered communities.
PRS for Music does not charge for music use in residential homes, where the use is consistent with normal domestic music use. For example, the following uses would not be charged:
- Background music use in bedrooms, flats and communal areas
- Informal performances of music
- Formal performances of music where no related charge is made to the residents.
Any music use not consistent with normal domestic use remains chargeable. This may include formal performances where a charge is made to the residents, or use of hold music on telephone systems.
In addition, PRS for Music does not make a charge for our licence for any music use in a hospice, refuge or similar premises, where the music use is consistent with the activity of the centre.
Some shops may not need to pay a licence fee if the only use of music is covered by PRS for Music’s ‘Working Order Check’ policy.
PRS for Music, at its discretion, does not charge a licence fee where the only use of music in a shop is the result of a very brief check to ensure that electrical equipment or musical instruments are in good working order. This policy may, for example, affect electrical repair shops or music shops.
Workers/colleagues and/or customers/clients have been recognised by the courts as falling within the composer's ‘public’. Any person wishing either to play or to authorise the playing of our music to such individuals in the workplace - wherever that workplace is situated - should therefore obtain a music licence. PRS for Music requires any workplace using music to obtain a music licence. However, PRS for Music, at its discretion, will not make a charge for its licence in certain circumstances:
- Home offices within a private residence - for an individual working on their own in the home office or for people who are permanently resident at that address. However, if you have colleagues working with you (who do not live at the premises) or customers/clients coming into your home (and music is played at these times), PRS for Music would apply the relevant tariff.
- Lone workers - workplaces with only one worker, where music is not made available to any visitors/customers coming onto the premises.
- Personal portable devices - Where music is only used in the workplace by individual employees or workers solely by means of personal portable devices (such as MP3 players) with headphones. Any music must only be audible to the employee or worker to whom the personal portable device belongs through a headset attached to that device and not to any other individual in the workplace.
If music is made available to employees or visitors to the premises by any other means, PRS for Music would apply the relevant tariff.
6. Music used in divine worship
PRS for Music, at its discretion, does not make a charge for music used at a recognised service of divine worship in consecrated places of worship (of any recognised faith), where no charge is made to attendees for admission.
7. Music used in wedding ceremonies, civil wedding ceremonies and civil partnership ceremonies
PRS for Music, at its discretion, does not charge for music use as part of official wedding ceremonies or similar, in whatever premises the ceremony takes place. This includes:
- Religious ceremonies
- Civil ceremonies
- Civil partnership ceremonies
8. Police Stations
PRS for Music, at its discretion, does not charge a licence fee for the public performance of our music by recorded means or via TV or radio where these performances take place in police stations as part of a specific criminal investigation.
PRS for Music does not charge a licence fee for devices which are used solely for the purpose described above.
If the device is used for any other purpose, such as training, recreation or any activities not directly related to a specific investigation, the standard PRS for Music charges from the applicable PRS for Music tariff(s) will apply.
9. Crematoria, chapels of rest and funeral parlours
PRS for Music, at its discretion, does not make a charge for any music use as part of funeral services or in waiting areas of crematoria (or similar premises).
- Music as part of religious or secular funeral or remembrance services for individuals
- Music in waiting rooms at crematoria or similar premises
10. Private family events
PRS for Music does not make a charge for functions of a purely domestic or family nature, such as wedding receptions, christening parties or domestic birthday parties, when:
- Attendance of guests is by personal invitation only (except for staff, performers, etc.)
- The function is held in a privately-booked room, not at that time open to the general public
- There is no form of charge made for admission
- There is no financial gain to the function’s organiser or host (e.g. the person hiring the venue)
11. Small bed & breakfast establishments & single self-catering units
PRS for Music charges for music in hotels and other holiday accommodation businesses.
However PRS for Music chooses not to charge a licence fee for background music (including TV and radio) in holiday accommodation businesses meeting all the following criteria:
- The premises has 3 guest bedrooms or fewer
- The premises is the sole holiday accommodation business operated or owned by the proprietors
- The premises is otherwise the domestic residence of the proprietors
- The premises is not licensed for the sale of alcohol (by the local authority)
- Facilities are only available to resident guests
This policy also applies to single self-catering units with 3 bedrooms or fewer, where this is the only self-catering unit operated/owned by the proprietors.
12. Universities and other institutes of higher education
PRS for Music does not make a charge where music is used:
- Solely as a required part of fulfilling a recognised and official qualification, without a charge for entry.
- If the syllabus requires the event to charge for admission, evidence of the syllabus must be provided.
- In student bedrooms, provided as term time accommodation
- In dining/living areas of student accommodation (such as kitchens), where access is limited to students resident in the specific building and where the use is consistent with normal domestic music use. This does not include rooms which are accessible by other students, rooms used for activities such as clubs, meetings, parties or discos or areas where catering is provided, such as refectories.
Following the exemption defined in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, PRS for Music does not license music use as part of the national curriculum or at any educational establishment where the audience comprises teachers and pupils (and other persons directly connected with the activities of the establishment) and the performance is given by a teacher or pupil (or by any person for the purposes of instruction), in the course of the establishment’s activities. Other music use in schools, colleges and universities does require a music licence. We have special tariffs in place for these organisations. For example, for a very reasonable licence fee, schools can use unlimited music throughout the year.
Please visit our educational establishments page for more information.
14. Dance Schools
The Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988, as amended (“the 1988 Act”), permits educational establishments and other individuals to use copyright work for educational purposes without a licence.
In general the term “educational establishment” includes all schools and other institutions of further and higher education, including specialist dance and music conservatoires and colleges.
Section A - Dance Schools that are educational establishments
Where a dance school qualifies as an educational establishment, section 34 of the 1988 Act provides that a public performance licence will not be required from PRS (or any other copyright owner) for performances before an audience of teachers and pupils/students at the school (and other persons directly connected with it) provided that the performance is given
- by a teacher or pupil in the course of the activities of the dance school; or
- at the dance school by any person for the purposes of instruction.
Section B - Dance tuition provided by persons other than educational establishments
Where copyright music is used for the purpose of dance tuition, a licence will ordinarily be required by the course provider. However, if the music is performed within the context of and for the purposes of a lesson and/or examination leading to a qualification aligned with Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 1 or above, [for the purposes of calculating charges under the dance tuition session of the current DS tariff and proposed new Fitness and Dance Tariff], PRS is willing to treat such performance as if it were given in circumstances to which section 34 of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 applies and accordingly will not make any charge respect of that session.
15. The Queen's 90th birthday
At its discretion, PRS for Music chooses not to charge a licence fee for music played at certain small community events, such as street parties, celebrating The Queen’s 90th birthday where all the following criteria are met.
- is in celebration of The Queen’s 90th birthday 2016
- takes place between 10th June 2016 and 12th June 2016, inclusive
- is organised and run by unpaid volunteers
- is provided for the local community
- has a total expected attendance / capacity of 300 or fewer
does not generate a profit
- is held in a premises or a place that does not otherwise require, or currently hold, a PRS for Music licence