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As licensed venues continue to struggle with enforced closures, the PPL/PRS has become the latest regulator to offer its support to the sector. 

They have announced a number of measures including:

  • not charging customers for their music usage during the period they are closed (temporarily or permanently) due to COVID-19;
  • changes to our payment policies to introduce further flexibility, including deferred payments, for customers during this difficult period; and
  • temporary suspension of late payment surcharges.

PPL/PRS have setup a FAQ section for licensed venues.

Of more immediate concern would be customers whose PPL / PRS licence is due to be renewed soon.  PPL / PRS said that:

“We have temporarily suspended outbound contact to all customers in affected sectors about their licence reviews, until at least 30 April 2020.  We will assess the Government advice relating to COVID-19 at that date and, if appropriate, extend this temporary suspension in line with any revised guidance from the Government.

“If you still want to go ahead with the licence review process as normal, you can of course do so and we would ask you to contact us to do this.  Changes in your music usage, as a result of COVID-19, will of course be taken into account at this point.

“If you wish to delay your licence review process at this time, due to the current COVID-19 situation, we completely understand that this may not be a priority for you.  We will contact you after 30 April 2020 or later, dependent on further Government advice. Pending your licence review, you will still be able to legally play and perform music in accordance with the terms and conditions of TheMusicLicence.”

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory defence barrister specialising in alcohol and entertainment licensing law, appeals and defence.

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