Music License for Restaurant

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Music License for Restaurant

Playing music at public places weather it is a restaurant, cafés, hotels, pubs, bars, or any other such places requires permission in the form of a Music License. It is compulsory for these places to obtain a license before you start to play, perform, etc. at public places. It is done to give credit for all the hard work done by people like composers, singers, song writers, etc. and to protect their rights.

According to the Copyright Act, 1957 all businesses that play pre-recorded music in the form of Gramophone records, CDs, music Cassette, Radio, TV or in Audio-Visual form, etc. need to take Music License It is mandatory for all who play music in public places for any commercial purpose to take a license before they start to play music.

You must take prior license from the Copyright Society for Sound Recording which is Phonographic Performance Limited {PPL} before you start to play music in your restaurant or café.

You will need the Indian Performing Rights Society {IPRS} License if you have singers to sing any song in your business premise or you are thinking to hold a live concert or a band etc.

So basically there are two types of music license based on the method you perform or play music at your work-place namely;

First let us Learn about Copyright Society

In a Copyright Society all the owners of the musical works join and form a national society that gives licenses to consumers to keep better vigil on the way the consumer uses the works of the owner.

The concept of Copyright Society is to provide licenses to consumers and to reduce the hassle of taking permissions from every person {every rightful owner} involved in recording of a song.

Benefits of Copyright Society

The main advantages of Copyright Society includes that it helps consumers to take licenses without much difficulty at one place. Also, it helps the owners keep track of the ways their works are used.

A Copyright Society is registered under the Section 33(3) of the Companies Act 2013, for a period of ten years. After that it needs to renew the registration. The Section 30 of the Copyright Act, allows the Copyright Society to issue license to the user of its members’ works. Moreover the Society also has the power to prosecute someone who infringes the copyright of its member.

There are various types of Copyright Societies. You need to register yourself with a Copyright Society namely Phonographic Performance Limited {PPL} to play sound-recorded music like playing a song from a CD or Radio in a café or restaurant.

However if you are only using the lyrics or musical scores for example in a live concert or band performance you need to register with the Copyright Society named Indian Performing Rights Society {IPRS}.

What are the Norms of the PPL?

PPL or Phonographic Performance Limited is a United Kingdom based music licensing and performance rights organization. It was founded by two record companies namely Decca Records and EMI in May 1934. According to the records PPL holds the royalties for over 1, 00,000 performers and recording right-holders in the year 2019.

Businesses need to take the PPL License to be able to play music in a public place in any pre-recorded form such as CDs, Radio, TV, etc. The term “playing in public” is defined by the UK Courts as playing music anywhere outside the domestic setting. So, playing music at places like public events, workplace, or any other workplace can be considered as “playing in public” and it requires a prior license before starting to play music.

The PPL license holder has the permission to/ is entitled to play music from the PPL’s repertoire or the commercially released music registered with the PPL. However the music that is outside the PPL’s copyright terms or freely licensed no not need licensing.

What do you need to know about IPRS?

IPRS or Indian Performing Rights Society is a Copyright Society that legitimizes the use of Copyrighted Music Works used by consumers by providing them licenses and collecting royalties on behalf of its members, i.e. people who make music such as composers, authors/lyricists and music publishers/music companies. The royalties that the institution collets is distributed among its members after deducting the Administration costs of the IRPS.

Purpose of Obtaining a Music License

The purpose of issuing the music license is to protect the rights of the composers, songwriters, and publishers.

How much does a Music License Cost?

The fee of the PPL license depends upon;

  • The type of place
  • Number of hours
  • Number of songs played
  • Capacity of the venue
  • The type of business

If you conduct live performances at your business you would need the IPRS License. Generally, the license fee for each Square feet of your building is Rs. 1.50/sq. feet and the minimum royalty under their tariff is Rs. 50,000, etc. Check their tariff schemes based on the type of activity performed at your business.

Who should get a Music License?

Anyone who wishes to play pre-recorded music outside the personal/ domestic setting, at a public place should get this license to avoid any penalty. The public places may be a hotel, pubs, events, restaurant, cafes, cinemas, offices, sport events, product launch, malls, aircrafts or any other places where the music is played in a business setting. In other words in a place where music is played at a place used for gaining some profit.

You need the IRPS License if you are indulged in the following activities at your business place;

  • Public performances
  • Band performances
  • Singers performing at your business
  • Any other activity which do not involve playing pre-recorded music

Where and how can you get this License?

If you want to obtain the PPL or IPRS License you just need to fill the prescribed application form in the prescribed format. After that you need to make the payment by checking the tariff schemes of the related society.

What Documents do you need to get the Music License?

The following are the documents which you would need to submit to get your music license:-

  • Your personal details such as, name, address, nationality, etc.
  • Details of the type of business you are doing
  • In case your business is an LLP, you would need to submit your certificate of Incorporation
  • List of the type of music you will play
  • GST registration certificate, if required
  • Your PAN Card
  • Any Address proof (Electricity bill, Driver’s License, Voter ID Card, etc.)
  • Any other documents which might be required