Clarification on licensing for dental surgeries

If you’re a dentist performing copyright music in your surgery, then you do need a PRS for Music* licence.

Clarification on the requirement for a PRS for Music licence when playing music in a dental surgery following the decision of European Court of Justice (“the Court”) on 15 March 2012 in the case of Società Consortile Fonografici (SCF) v Marco Del Corso (“the Decision”).

What does the Decision cover?

The Decision concerns the liability of dentists to pay equitable remuneration for what under Italian law is a statutory right to use sound recordings by communicating them to the public. In its Decision, the Court held that such use by dentists to patients in their waiting rooms did not amount to a “communication to the public” with regard to this liability.

Does the Decision affect PRS for Music's rights in the UK?

No.  The Decision does not affect the requirement for a business to hold the correct PRS for Music licence where they play or perform PRS for Music repertoire in public.

The Decision specifically dealt with the right of producers and performers to remuneration for certain uses of sound recordings, as provided for under Italian law. PRS for Music does not administer this right.

PRS for Music administers, amongst other rights, the exclusive right conferred on the copyright owners by UK law, to perform and to authorise the performance in public of their copyright musical works.

Do I still need a PRS for Music licence?

Yes, you do if you intend to continue performing our musical works in your premises regardless of the means of performance, for example by radio, TV, CD, MP3 or live performance. Under UK law a performance is regarded as taking place ‘in public’ if the audience comprises individuals outside of the composer’s domestic or home circle.

By not having, or cancelling an existing PRS for Music licence, you may be liable for infringement of copyright in PRS for Music’s repertoire.  

PRS for Music licences for dental practices start from as little as £44 a year.

Do I need a PPL licence?

In the UK, the owners of the copyright in commercial sound recordings enjoy an exclusive right to play sound recordings in public.
If you intend to continue playing such recordings in public in your workplace, we suggest that you contact PPL to discuss your requirements.

*PRS for Music is the trading name for the Performing Right Society (PRS). This information relates to the rights represented by PRS.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 125,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to nearly 22.2m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn, PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £621.5m in 2016, PRS for Music is one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.