The Comet Pub is fined for playing music without a licence

The Comet pub in Harley Shute Road
The Comet pub in Harley Shute Road

A PUB landlord has paid the price for playing music without a licence.

Simon Richardson, of The Comet in St Leonards, has been ordered to pay £1,606 rung up by lawyers for music royalties collectors Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), in proceedings against him.

High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Smith on July 15, ruled that Mr Richardson must pay the money to PPL within 14 days.

Counsel for PPL, Fiona Clark told the judge that Mr Richardson was caught playing music on the premises when he did not hold a licence from PPL.

An inspector called at the premises in Harley Shute Road on October 2, 2010, and heard tracks being played including A Kind Of Magic by Queen, Heartbeat by Scouting For Girls, Times Like These by the Script and The Changing Man by Paul Weller.

PPL launched proceedings against him seeking an injunction banning him from playing music, but after he paid the necessary fees to bring his licence up to date, it sought only to recover its legal costs.

PPL’s licence scheme applies to all forms of mechanically recorded music such as records, tapes and CDs in PPL’s repertoire, which covers 97 per cent of all music. Music licences can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, depending on the size of the venue and the audiences involved.

PPL spokesperson Jonathan Morrish said: “It is a legal requirement in the UK for any business that plays recorded music in public to have a PPL licence.”