Daylight robbery is rife in Britain once again.
In the run up to the General Election #GE10 it has become apparent that the Business Secretary’s contempt for charitable organisations has reached new lows as he robs charities to claw money back the for reckless spending machine that is the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).
Last month Lord Mandelson decided to remove an exemption for charities from music licensing rules which quite simply means that from April 2010 those organisations will have to choose between paying large bills if they hold events with recorded music or do without the music completely.
By law all retail outlets are bound by the Performing Rights Society (PRS) representing composers and songwriters, there is no exemption for charities.
However, a large majority of these organisations must also purchase a licence from Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) representing performers and record companies. Currently there are two small clauses in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Sections 67 and 72) that exempt charities from this requirement.
Lord Mandelson has decided to remove this exemption following a public consultation by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ensuring this is in place for April this year. Is this another sign that #GE10 will be in March?
Let’s consider a few areas this affects so we can see just how bloody silly this really is. A charity shop with music in the background would be forced to pay. Carnival floats that play music would be forced to pay. A carer’s association or nursery playing music to entertain the children would be forced to pay.
Think it’s wrong? You know where to put your X on polling day at #GE10.