Last week the Engine Room club was barred from being allowed to play pre-recorded music, as the club did not hold the correct license.

Live music venues must legally hold a PRS (Performing Right Society) license and a so-called PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) license. The PRS license fee is paid to a central collecting body, which then divides its proceeds amongst musicians, record companies and publishers.

Neil Campbell, who co-owns the company that runs the Engine Room, said that the “record companies tagged on” the PPL license to “squeeze more money” from music venues. The PPL license costs £500 annually, and grants the license holder the legal right to play CDs and show music videos. It is this license that the Engine Room did not hold.

The PPL website claims that it’s “mission” is to “stand up for Music rights.” The group, which represents “performers and record companies”, refused to comment on Mr. Campbell’s accusation, or to explain how the PPL differed from the PRS license.

Campbell went on to say that any “injunction has been lifted” and that the PPL license has been paid. “All the planned shows at the Engine Room” Mr. Campbell said, “are now going ahead.”

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