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

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

switching account

Switching your account...