Charity shops could face massive bill for playing music in stores

Charity shops could face a £900,000-a-year bill if the Government ends their exemption from charges for playing music in-store, the Association of Charity Shops has warned.

The Government has launched a consultation through the Intellectual Property Office to remove all charities' exemptions from fees paid to Phonographic Performance Limited, which represents the interests of music producers and performers.

But the association has responded to the consultation, warning that both customers and volunteer numbers could be hit.

"Removing exemptions from paying licence fees to PPL could cost charity shops hundreds of thousands each year," said David Moir, head of policy and public affairs at the association. "Some shops just won't be able to afford to play music, which could mean loss of custom, the loss of volunteer support and reduced funds raised for charity.

"Of course, composers, performers and producers have a right to be paid for their work, but there has to be a better way than hitting charities."

The collective bill for shops across the country could be as high as £900,000, based on the cost per shop.

The association said charity shops had already begun to pay fees to the Performing Rights Society, which collects royalties for writers, but was finding these fees "a burden".

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Association of Charity Shops

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