PRS climbdown after MCV report

Ben Parfitt
PRS climbdown after MCV report

The society that charges retailers to play music in their stores has decided to lower its price for video game demos.

High Street stores are now required to pay just £75.90 a year – a far cry from the £140.90 to £465.90 (depending on store size) quoted earlier this month.

The change follows an MCV story that revealed the PRS was sending letters to several games retailers demanding money for the music played through in-store demo pods.

Various retailers expressed their fury to MCV over this, as not all video games use licensed music and it’s not the primary function of demo pods.

That story and the subsequent outcry prompted the PRS to hold an emergency meeting, in which the society has clarified its stance and issued a new price.

Game demo pods now come under the firm’s demonstration tariff.

“If there is no background music, but music is audible from games consoles, then a licence is required to cover any copyright-controlled music within the game,”
the PRS’ head of corporate communications Barney Hooper told MCV.  

“Games include library music and standard music that would be covered under our agreements with our members.

“As this use would be for demonstration purposes and not the primary audio system within a store, then a reduced rate of £75.90 per store would be payable.”

Hooper added that if the music is through a primary audio system then the usual tariff of £140.90 to £465.90 still applies.

However, if store owners mute the sound on the consoles, then no licence fee is required.

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Tags: Retail , video games , indies , complaints , performing right society , prs

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