Coun­cil work­ers in ra­dio ban to cut costs

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

Shet­land Is­land Coun­cil work­ers are no longer able to lis­ten to the ra­dio in the of­fice – un­less they are wear­ing head­phones or are in the of­fice on their own.

This is be­cause the lo­cal au­thor­ity has de­cided against con­tin­u­ing to pay for li­cences that legally al­low them to play mu­sic in of­fices be­cause it feels the money can be bet­ter spent else­where.

A Shet­land Is­land Coun­cil spokesper­son said the lo­cal au­thor­ity had been pay­ing be­tween £130 and £225 a year per of­fice to PRS for Mu­sic, which col­lects roy­al­ties for song­writ­ers, com­posers and mu­sic pub­lish­ers.

On top of this, a sim­i­lar fee was re­quired by Phono­graphic Per­for­mance

“It does not seem to be a good use of pub­lic money”

Lim­ited (PPL), which pays money to record com­pa­nies and per­form­ers for pub­lic plays of songs.

PRS says that play­ing mu­sic in an of­fice con­sti­tutes a “pub­lic per­for­mance”, mean­ing that a li­cence needs to be in place.

“We have been con­tacted by the Per­form­ing Rights So­ci­ety, to make sure we are op­er­at­ing within the law on this is­sue,” the coun­cil spokesper­son said.

“Each of­fice area, ac­cord­ing to its size, must by law pay an an­nual li­cence fee of be­tween £130 and £225 in or­der to play the ra­dio.

“There is also an ad­di­tional an­nual PPL li­cence re­quired, at a sim­i­lar cost per of­fice.

“Ob­vi­ously, costed out across the coun­cil, this could add up to a very large sum, and does not seem to be a good use of pub­lic money.

“We would like to point out, how­ever, that staff can lis­ten to the ra­dio us­ing head­phones, or if they are in an of­fice by them­selves.”

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