Limited Online Music Licence FAQS

WHAT'S ON THIS PAGE?

  1. What is the difference between music on-demand, webcast and interactive webcast?
  2. What is the definition of a clip?
  3. What is the graphic right?
  4. How do I calculate the number of webcast streams?
  5. Do I still need a licence if I use less than 30 seconds of music?
  6. What is the licence period for the Limited Online Music Licence?
  7. What is the Limited Online Music Licence fee if I only operate the service for part of the year?
  8. Are multiple URLs allowed within one licence application?
  9. What happens if we've received permission from the original artist?
  10. Do we still require a licence if we don't make any money from the website?
  11. What methods of payment do you accept?
  12. Are downloads sold on my website considered for the charts?
  13. We are a charity; do we still need a licence?
  14. I want to sell music on iTunes, do I need a licence?
  15. I want to upload content which contains music to YouTube, do I need a licence?
  16. What happens if I exceed the Limited Online Music Licence streaming/download limits?
  17. Where can I get a licence to cover music on hold for a telephone system?
  18. What licence do I need to use background music on my webpage?
  19. I have an audio product/DVD/PRS licence; do I need to be licensed separately for online music use?
  20. Are there any other rights present when using music online?
  21. Can PRS for Music issue me a licence for Europe / the World?
  22. Do I need a licence if I am uploading a cover version onto YouTube / iTunes / Spotify?
  23. Is a licence from PRS for Music the only licence I need for my online service?
  24. Can I post music on Facebook / Instagram?
  25. Why do I need a PRS for Music licence to play or sell music in an online service?
  26. What is PPL and why would I need a separate licence from them?
  27. Are there any circumstances where making musical works available online does not require a PRS for Music licence?
  28. I've never heard of PRS for Music - how do I know you're legitimate?

What is the difference between music on-demand, webcast and interactive webcast?

Music on-demand: users can access and stream specific tracks on an on-demand basis

 

Webcast: a stream of music-based content delivered on a linear basis, i.e. where users cannot select individual musical works to listen to or interact with the content, for example, pause, skip, or move forwards or backwards through the stream, or influence music output by rating tracks.

 

Interactive webcast: a stream of music-based content where users cannot select individual musical works to listen to, but they can interact with the on-demand content, for example pause, fast forward and rewind it.  This is separate from interacting with specific tracks, for this see music on-demand.

 

Please refer to the LOML terms and conditions for more information.

What is the definition of a clip?

A clip is an excerpt of a musical work primarily used for preview or promotional use, for example clips made available on an artist’s website to promote their music. Clips must be no longer than 30 seconds long if the total duration of the musical work is under ten minutes or less.

Please refer to the LOML terms and conditions for more information.

What is the graphic right?

In the context of karaoke services, an additional right is required to reproduce the lyrics to a song alongside the musical work, known as the graphic right.

For further details please see the terms and conditions for the definition of a karaoke service.

How do I calculate the number of webcast streams?

The number of webcast streams is determined by calculating how many times each individual work has been listened to. For example, a radio station which has 100 listeners and broadcasts 25 musical works to those listeners will use an allocated total of 2,500 streams.

Do I still need a licence if I use less than 30 seconds of music?

Yes, a music licence is required whenever our members’ repertoire is made available online. The Limited Online Music Licence will cover you for the offering of preview clips. For more details please refer to What is the definition of a clip? in this FAQ.

What is the licence period for the Limited Online Music Licence?

The Limited Online Music Licence lasts for 12 months from the date of purchase.

What is the Limited Online Music Licence fee if I only operate the service for part of the year?

We will only charge you for the period of the year in which you operate, and fees will be pro-rated subject to a minimum licence fee of £69 +VAT. In addition, you should be aware that usage limitations, such as the number of streams within each band, will also be pro-rated.

Are multiple URLs allowed within one licence application?

Yes, as long as the limitations within LOML are not exceeded and all URLs are controlled by the party applying for the licence and reflect usage on one service. If limits are exceeded, please contact the online licensing team on 020 3741 3888 or via email

What happens if we've received permission from the original artist?

When a songwriter or composer joins PRS for Music, or an affiliated society, they assign their performing rights for us to administer. As such, they're unable to exempt individual performances - even their own - therefore you may still require a licence to feature a songwriter’s work on your website.

Visit the Performing Right Online Licence (PROL) page for more information.

Do we still require a licence if we don't make any money from the website?

Yes. The Limited Online Music Licence has been designed for small scale operations generating little or no income.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept payment via cheque, BACS, credit or debit card.

Are downloads sold on my website considered for the charts?

The charts are compiled by the Official Charts Company.Visit their website for more information.

We are a charity; do we still need a licence?

Yes, clearance to use our members’ repertoire is required for all online usage. We license all prospective applicants on the same basis across the board and do not differentiate between charities, companies or individuals.

I want to sell music on iTunes, do I need a licence?

No. When making use of music online it is the service provider’s responsibility to take out the licence. In this case, iTunes would be the entity communicating music to the public and reproducing it digitally. You will only need a licence if you wish to make music available on your own service. 

I want to upload content which contains music to YouTube, do I need a licence?

Audio content: No.  In relation to audio-only content, it is the service provider’s responsibility to take out the licence. In this case, YouTube would be the entity communicating music to the public and reproducing it digitally. You will only need a licence if you wish to make content available on your own service. 

Audiovisual content: When music is used in conjunction with a visual element an extra right is present which is deemed a ‘synchronisation’ right.  In order to clear this right, you may need to seek prior approval from the rights holders before you supply or upload such content to third parties such as YouTube.

What happens if I exceed the Limited Online Music Licence streaming/download limits?

It is your responsibility to inform us if this happens. If you exceed your licensed usage limitations you can upgrade to a higher band by paying the difference in licence fees. However, if you exceed the Band E usage limitation, you will need to be licensed under the Limited Online Music Licence Plus (LOML+). For more information, contact us on 020 3741 3888 or email  applications@prsformusic.com

Where can I get a licence to cover music on hold for a telephone system?

Visit the PPLPRS website or call the helpline on 0800 0720 808 for more information on music on hold.

What licence do I need to use background music on my webpage?

You will need to clear the MCPS and PRS rights separately. Contact the MCPS licensing department on 020 3151 5565 or email admin@mcps-licensing.co.uk for more information. 

To clear the PRS rights, please apply for a PRS online licence.

I have an audio product/DVD/PRS licence; do I need to be licensed separately for online music use?

The audio product and other licences are specific licences covering the reproduction of musical works on physical audio products, such as CDs and DVDs. If you are selling the audio product/DVD directly on your website, you may need an online licence such as LOML to cover 30 second preview clips or trailers. However, if you are selling your music digitally through services such as iTunes, you will not need a licence.

Please refer to the LOML terms and conditions for more information.


Are there any other rights present when using music online?

MCPS and PRS represent the rights in the underlying musical work itself - the compositional elements of the music, melody and lyrics. There is also another right relating to the specific recording of a work, the sound recording, which is usually controlled by a record company. To clear these rights contact Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) on 0207 534 1000 or visit the PPL website.

Can PRS for Music issue me a licence for Europe / the World?

No, PRS for Music is generally only mandated to issue licences for UK-facing online services. If you require a multi-territory licence you will need to speak to our partner company ICE Rights, as well as several other licensing bodies and rightsholders. For more information email ICE Rights licensing@uk.icerights.com

Do I need a licence if I am uploading a cover version onto YouTube / iTunes / Spotify?

No, we license the service hosting the content and not the individuals who upload works onto the service, therefore it is the service providers’ responsibility to take out the licence. 

We do however recommend you use licensed platforms to ensure works written by our members and members of affiliated societies are licensed appropriately. 

If you are amending or making changes to the musical work when recording the cover version, you will need prior approval from the rights holders.

Is a licence from PRS for Music the only licence I need for my online service?

It depends how you are using music on your service.  If there is an audiovisual element, you may need to clear synchronisation rights with the publishers or via the MCPS Commercial Music Sync Team.

Master sound recording rights are also not included in any PRS for Music licences. PPL collects and distributes money on behalf of performers and record companies for the use of their recorded music. Please visit the PPL website for more information.

Can I post music on Facebook / Instagram?

Audio content: Yes. When uploading audio only content it is the service provider’s responsibility to take out the licence. Facebook and Instagram are the entities communicating music to the public and reproducing it digitally. You will only need a licence if you wish to upload content on to your own service.

Audiovisual content: When combining music with a visual, an extra right is present which is deemed a sync right and, depending on the content which is uploaded, you may need to seek prior approval from the rightsholders.

Why do I need a PRS for Music licence to play or sell music in an online service?

If you make copyright musical works available on your service, it is a legal requirement that you are licensed to use them.

As a licensee/business, you would have to seek permission from potentially thousands of songwriters, composers and publishers before being able to make available their musical works. Our licence gives you this permission and allows you to make available musical works in the UK simply, quickly and legally. We then pass on these licence fees, less our running costs, to our membership of songwriters, composers and music publishers.

What is PPL and why would I need a separate licence from them?

PRS for Music and PPL are two separate collecting societies. While we both license the use of music and collect royalties for the music industry, we represent different rightsholders and have separate licences, terms and conditions.

PRS for Music collects and distributes money for the composition (the music, lyrics, melody) on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers. PPL collects and distributes money for the use of the sound recording on behalf of record companies and performers.

In most instances, a music licence is required from both PRS for Music and PPL for you to legally make musical works available online.

Are there any circumstances where making musical works available online does not require a PRS for Music licence?

A PRS for Music licence is not required if the musical works that you make available are in the public domain and are not in copyright or are not owned by PRS for Music members or members of our affiliated societies worldwide.

However, PRS for Music members and members of affiliated societies own the copyright in the vast majority of musical works.

I've never heard of PRS for Music - how do I know you're legitimate?

We are the UK-based collecting society that licenses musical works played in public or copied and made available on the radio, TV or online. We then distribute the fees as royalties to our songwriter, composer and publisher members.

We were established in 1914 and carry out this role on behalf of thousands of songwriter, composer and publisher members. Read more about our company history.

We license the copyright in musical works as set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 by the UK parliament.