Charities 'should lose music royalties exemption'

No reason not to pay up, say respondents to Intellectual Property Office consultation

Charities should lose their exemption from paying fees to play music in shops or at events, organisations that collect the charges have insisted.

The Intellectual Property Office ran a consultation last year on how laws surrounding fees for public performance of recorded material should be amended. It was proposed that charities lose their exemption from paying royalties to Phonographic Performance Limited, which represents the interests of music producers and performers.

A summary of the consultation responses, published this week, revealed that organisations collecting the fees are pushing for charities to lose the exemption.

"Most collecting societies argue that there is no reason for charities and not-for-profit organisations to be exempt from paying for music licences as they are required to pay for other services such as electricity and heating and for the BBC licence," the document says.

Charity shops warned last year that losing the exemption could cost them £900,000 a year (Third Sector Online, 10 November).

A full Government response on the consultation is expected before the summer recess.

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