The owners of a nightclub has been banned from playing any more music until they bring their licences up to date.
The bosses of West Exit in Robertson Street were banned by one of the country’s top judges at London’s High Court from playing any more music there or at other venues they control until they bring their licences up to date.
They were also ordered to pay legal costs bill of more than £1,600.
Mr Justice Barling imposed the ban on Aslit Ltd, who were described in court as the occupier, proprietor and premises licence holder for the club which opened in March 2013.
He had been told that recorded copyrighted music was played there when Aslit didn’t have a licence from music royalties collectors Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL).
Mr Justice Barling imposed the ban on Friday (July 25) after hearing that recorded copyrighted music was played at the club when there was no licence from music royalties collectors Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) in force.
And in addition to the ban he also ordered the company, which was not represented in court, to pay £1,680 in legal costs by 8 August.
The ban means the company must stop playing recorded music there, or any other premises it runs, until it brings its licence up to date.
Failure to obey the order and turn any premises it runs into a music-free zone until all licence fees are brought up to date would be regarded as contempt of court, the penalties for which can be fines of up to £10,000 and up to six months prison for any individuals responsible.
The judge was told that it was caught after a PPL inspector visited the premises and heard music being played when no licence was in force. The inspector heard tracks including “You’re Not Alone” by Olive and “Nobody To Love” by Sigma on 19 April.
PPL’s counsel Ashton Chantrielle said that solicitors had sent letters to the premises informing the company of the nature and extent of PPL’s repertoire and the fact that the playing in public of sound recordings without PPL’s licence or permission constitutes infringement of its copyright, and inviting it to acquire a licence.
The ban applies to all forms of mechanically recorded music such as records, tapes and CDs in PPL’s repertoire. Depending on the size of a venue and the audiences involved music licences can cost very little but they can also run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Nazneen Nawaz, spokesperson for PPL, said: “PPL is the music licensing company which, on behalf of thousands of record company and performer members, licenses recorded music for broadcast, online and public performance use.
“Our 90,000 members include major record labels and independents as well as globally successful performers and session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers. The majority are small businesses, all of whom are legally entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances.
“PPL issues licences to hundreds of thousands of businesses and organisations across the UK when they play recorded music to their staff or customers and therefore require a licence by law.
“Licensees include bars, nightclubs, shops, hotels, offices, factories, gyms, schools, universities and public sector organisations up and down the country. After the deduction of PPL’s running costs, all licence fee income is distributed to members. PPL does not retain a profit for its services.”