Music Fee Agreed For Restaurants, Cafes, Bars

October 13, 2015

PRS for Music and the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce’s Restaurant Division have agreed on a “new music licence tariff” for eating and drinking establishments, which covers background music played in restaurants, cafes and bars.

The announcement said, “PRS for Music and the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce’s Restaurant Division are pleased to announce an agreed new music licence tariff for Eating and Drinking Establishments.

“This newly agreed tariff covers background music played in restaurants, cafes and bars giving businesses the opportunity to legally use over 15 million pieces of music at their ease.”

Screenshot from the price list, which can be found here [PDF]


“As part of the announcement, PRS are offering a special hospitality sector introductory offer. This is available to all hospitality establishments that obtain and pay for a licence before the 31st of October 2015.

“These special terms provide great savings for businesses currently using music at their premises. The offer will see:

  • A waiver of any fees that would normally be back-dated
  • A 50 per cent discount on non-ticketed featured music for the licence’s first year
  • A Standard Royalty Rate for the licence’s first year

“In accordance with The Copyright and Designs Act 2004, in order to play music to customers, staff or employees – all premises’ must seek permission from the copyright holder through acquiring an appropriate licence.

“The licence can be set up effortlessly within ten minutes by phoning or visiting the below:

  • 1-877-457-0079 [toll free] between 8am-1pm [speak to PRS for Music representative]
  • for more information or to download an application form

PRS for Music’s Executive Director of Membership and International, Karen Buse said: “By working together with the Chamber’s restaurant sector we have made sure eating and drinking establishments in Bermuda can be licensed efficiently and at ease.

“PRS for Music is committed to providing Bermudian businesses with legitimate access to music from all around the globe and we look forward to increasing awareness throughout the country to promote the value of music and the effect it has on bringing businesses to life.”

Chris Garland Chamber of Commerce restaurant sector representative said: “This has been a long time coming and I am pleased that we are finally able to put this to bed.

“We have agreed to rates that more adequately represent the state of the industry and the value the licenses bring to our businesses. I encourage all members and restaurant owners to take advantage of the offer and sign up before 31 October.”

“PRS for Music represent 111,000 songwriters, composers and publishers of music and is the appointed collection society for Bermuda.PRS for Music ensures all music creators are fairly remunerated and recognised for their work by distributing royalties through monies obtained by various licenses.”

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Comments (28)

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  1. Legalgal says:

    Who is PRS for Music? What do they get out of it?

  2. Bored says:

    “Ever wondered how we know what music is being used across the UK, on TV, on radio, in pubs, shops, hotels and restaurants?

    The first point to note is that we don’t know the details of every play of every work on every stereo in every premises and every broadcaster we licence. Whilst we aim to make our royalty payments as accurate as possible, to collect and process information for each individual play of every work across the UK would, in some cases, cost more than we can actually collect in royalty revenues for those plays.”

    This is a slippery slope being forced down. They have no way to monitor what is played. For businesses that use Satelite, they are already paying the service for the licensing of music. Are the Bermudian artists mentioned on their site seeing payment? What about international artists? Money grab. Don’t like it.

    • Adrian says:

      I don’t think that is true – radio is for personal use technically. If you are using it in your establishment as a benefit to customers…that are paying you, then you are benefiting from it commercially, not personally.

      Bermuda has for a very long time escaped the attention of those that own copyrighted materials and that is definitely changing here – we will become inline with most of our sophisticated global peers.

      • Bored says:

        What isn’t true? That is a statement from the PRS website, and when you pay for Satelite in a business, the provider is paying for the licence.

    • Um.... says:

      This is definitely a greedy money grab. If I were a business owner, I’d simply play my satellite radio or music streamed from Spotify or iTunes and go about my business. How is this even enforceable? Ridiculous.

  3. Morty says:

    If any artists actually receive any funds from this I’ll be amazed.

    How do they demonstrate that the artists whose music was played were paid correctly? How they demonstrate that artist who’s music was not played were not paid? The answer is that they don’t. PRS take their fees regardless of whether the music played was by their members. Furthermore PRS are a foreign entity and can’t be regulated here. Authorties will have no jursdiction or power to investigate complaints so if PRS are not corrupt now the arrangements encourage corruption.

    What about the artists that PRS does not represent? Will they be able to form their own society and demand fees on the off chance that their members’ music might be played within earshot?

    It is incredible that this was allowed and that the Chamber of Commerce helped. I hope all of Hamilton goes quiet.

    • BDA Friend says:

      This is totally legitimate. A legitimate songwriter/publisher would be a member.

      • Morty says:

        Legitimacy is not the point. Maybe this works in the UK but it makes no sense here. The music feeds coming in to Bermuda often originate in the US. The sattelite rdio providers are supposed to have already paid the royalties. Likewise for digital jukebox content that is updated remotely.

        Most establishments will basically wind up paying royalties twice.

        Should one of these establishments wish to challenge the validity of this what recourse to they have? PRS is a UK entity. Nobody in Bermuda has the authority to investigate them. Furthermore it would be more expensive to launch an investigation in the UK than it would be to pay the fees.

        PRS offer nothing and demand a fee for it backed by a threat of legal action. There’s a word for that. Several, in fact.

        • Adrian says:

          Morty – If you pay for radio that’s great – but you are paying for it and the ‘license’ you get is for personal use, not commercial.

          The PRS is completely legitimate and it’s only because Bermuda has escaped the attention of artists that this has taken so long.

          And no establishment is paying royalties…that’s just a wrong use of that word.

          • Robert says:

            I’m not a lawyer but section 98 of the Designs and Copyrights Act seems to cover this.

            “The showing or playing in public of a broadcast or cable programme to an
            audience who have not paid for admission to the place where the broadcast or programme
            is to be seen or heard does not infringe any copyright in—
            the broadcast or cable programme; or
            any sound recording or film included in it.”

            So playing a radio or tv or internet music service in an establishment does not seem to require a license unless you are specifically charging for the broadcast or if the fee you are charging is purposely higher because of the broadcast.

            I wonder if the Chamber of Commerce has made this clear to their members?

            • Family Man says:

              You could argue that you are playing the radio for your own enjoyment and if anyone else happens to hear it, it was unintentional or not played for their enjoyment. Like playing music in the background when you have a dinner party. Will you need a music license to hold a dinner party?

              Are they going to be going after the taxi drivers who play music in their cabs that passengers can hear? How about telephone systems that play music while you’re on hold? (They should pay an annoyance tax).

              • Robert says:

                In the UK they have gone after taxi drivers, and others. They have gone after a man playing the radio alonein his on shop. They even tried it on a women signing to herself while stocking shelves (they dropped that one and said it was a mistake after it became public).

                You will have to pay for on hold music. The regiment band will have to pay an annual fee to play in public. Even the majorettes have a prescribed annual fee.

    • Lone Wolf says:

      I agree, Morty. Everyone should just turn off the music. This reeks of greed.

  4. james says:

    PRS is the Performing rights society.
    If you wrote or sang a song that everyone listened to in bars etc. you would expect to benefit from that. PRS has been around for decades and many countries have been paying these fees for years. Bermuda business’s have somehow felt they didn’t have to pay. Most artists sign up to PRS so they can be rewarded for people listening to their music. Prior to PRS shops in the UK used to play music from unknown artists that made shop music. Once PRS came into being they could play current music.

    • sage says:

      You would expect to be paid in perpetuity? What a ripoff, Just tossed my radio out the window.

    • Robert says:

      The problem here in my opinion is that the PRS is going after background music and not making it clear that there is a difference between turning on a radio and playing CDs or other recorded music.

  5. Yes says:

    I hope that there is no music playing in Hamilton today.

  6. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Adubillah-himina Shaitain-nir-rajeem……………..

  7. Ameboa says:

    PRS do you have a work permit to come here and BULLY us?

    • BDA Friend says:

      Of course. Songwriters have no right to collect royalties from Bermuda!

      Maybe just play Bermudian written and published music then? Surely Bermudians wouldn’t want to be paid either?

      • Morty says:

        Again, the artists have been paid so the moralist simpering is absurd. If you want to know why artists don’t make what they used to go ask Spotify. The merchants of Bermuda have acted in good faith, are not looking to take advantage of people, and don’t deserve a shakedown.

  8. CCCP says:

    PRS you can Get outa here

  9. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    SOME BODY is getting paid…and I hope it’s Bermudas debt that’s all that I care about. Bermuda is still in a free fall…wouldn’t you start grasping at straws to slowdown before we crash…

  10. Felix tod says:

    As a twice BAFTA nominated composer and senior voting member of PRS I earn a good sum from PRS annually. As a DJ here I’m aware PRS have no idea or keep no logs about what is played on the radio or in our clubs .. They are simply collecting the money and allocating it as they see fit the soca and reggae and local artists receive no income from this . I would suggest local restaurants ask that PRS start collecting logs and showing they are performing due diligence in allocation of funds .

    • Yes says:

      That would be a start.
      Why did the Chamber of Commerce just agree without asking questions like these?
      All this is just going to cause trouble becuase people didn’t think.

  11. Lance says:

    Are you kidding me? Really.SMH