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Seb Anthony

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using music in training


I have been speaking with the Performing Rights Society (PRS) (0800 068 48 28) and the Public Performance Licencing (PPL) bods (0207 534 1160) and have been getting conflicting information on what licences I can get to adequately cover me to use music in training.

I know I need a PRS and a PPL licence.

The problems I have encountered are this:
Neither organisation seems to have considered training as a category of music user. Therefore, in relation to the PPL I will have to purchase a 'Misc tariff Licence'. That's not so bad, however, when I have tried to obtain a PRS licence, I have been differing advice. One is that a 'DJ's licence' will do, whilst the other is that a DJ's licence won;t do and in fact I will (or more accurately the venue or customer) will have to get a specific licence to cover the venue. This is obviously a real pain.

Anyone had similar issues or found a solution?
David Algeo

5 Responses

  1. Music licence
    Both are right to a certain extent. The PRS advice should be that ‘it depends’. I think that, if you are a freelance trainer, you provide ‘mobile’ provision and so a ‘DJ’ type licence is best. Otherwise it should be your employer who should get the licence.
    However, the client will also need a licence to cover the premises where the music is to be played.
    It may be worth getting hold of the small but perfectly formed book ‘Choosing and Using Music in Training’ by Liz Brant and Tony Harvey (Gower).

  2. Thanks Graham
    Thanks Graham. Just to clarify. You say that as well as me or my company getting a PRS & PPL – the client (venue) will also require a licence?


  3. Music licences
    The PRS and PPL should really be the experts and it is a shame you did not get clearer advice.
    As I understand it the PRS licence covers the premises where the music is to be played (the proceeds go to the composers and publishers). It is most common for the owners of the premises to seek this licence but it should be possible for you to do it too. The specific question to clarify with the PRS is which category you fall into and hence what tariff you should pay. It is likely that you will need to complete the workplace calculation of units. I would suggest that the ‘rest areas’ equation is most appropriate (and likely to be the cheapest) but if you are offering something linked to a qualification you might see if they will give you a free licence as they would for a university.
    The PPL licence is no less complex as there are various sorts with detailed terms and conditions. I think it likely that you should use form GLD06 and Tariff 018 (which is a micellaneous tariff for background music; ie music to complement your training rather than for pure entertainment purposes) but do check this with them. In your application state whether you will be using a variety of premises which may or may not be owned by you. This licence can be held by the owners of the premises or, if you work in different places, it may be best if you get the licence. (Proceeds go to musicians and record companies).
    It is worth noting that the player of the music and the owner of the premises are equally liable in law and even if you use copyright free music you still need a licence.
    Please feel free to send either organisation a link to this message – they can then correct it for all of us if I am wrong.
    Best of luck

  4. Thanks again

    Thanks again for your advice. I will chase this up with both PRS and PPL, though, to be fair, the staff at PPL have been very good and have pointed me in the direction of an appropriate licence. I just need PRS to do the same.
    Thanks again.

  5. music solutions
    This might be of some use to you, in regards to music rights in this situation.

    I have music you can use for free, regardless of PRS rights issues.

    This topic was drawn to my attention by my partner who reads this site, and she thought I might be able to help you.

    I am a television producer, and I am also a composer of a lot of music, for television programmes and the like.

    As part of that role I often have to rewrite music in a similar style to commercial tracks, as the fees for licencing chart music and popular tunes for international audiences can be astronomical.

    I was recently quoted £120,000 as a fee to add a small amount of music to an international documentary, which is plainly ridiculous when you can buy and equip a professional studio for less than £10,000.

    If you specify how much music you need to use, for example if you only use two or three tracks, I might be able to supply very similar versions of said tracks which would be yours to use however you wish, with no copyright or licencing issues whatsoever, for a fixed term of five years, just to protect my own interests.

    If after that period you would wish to retain the music, I would then grant a further five year period as long as it is to be used for training purposes only.

    Please have a look at my website, and in particular the Radio Channel page which contains several professionally produced tracks of varying style and tempo.
    The tracks on that page are geared toward the youth TV market, but I also write and produce classical music, examples of which I shall be adding to the site soon.

    Should you require specific musical styles, i.e. ethnic, Irish, or latin, or Arabic, for example, then please feel free to contact me via the phone number on the “contact” page.

    I could supply you with a package of music at no cost whatsoever, as I am in the process of overhauling my music library, and as long as you agree not to sell it on or authorise anyone else to use it, you may use it as often as you like with my full consent.

    My website is:

    Please be assured I am not looking to make any money from this, I am simply trying to build up a library of music for my own use as a TV producer.

    Should you give me examples of music you would like rewritten and revamped to avoid costly copyright and publishing lawsuits for your own purposes, I would be happy to oblige, the idea being I would of course retain all rights to said music to use as I wish, and merely grant you free use for educational purposes as described above.

    I hope this helps!

    If you do phone – ask for Kieran.

    I look forward to your call.


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