Legal issues of performing

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Tone deaf and mute, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Tone deaf and mute

    Tone deaf and mute New Member


    Just wondering if people can help give some advice/point in the direction of information on the following -

    *Performing Rights Society - What is involved, do all groups/ensembles have to pay the PRS and do people usually do this?
    *Licences - Would an ensemble need any kinds of licence for performing (e.g. council licence for street performance)
    *Insurance - Does an ensemble need insurance to perform or is this usually covered by the venue?
    *Copyright - If we are performing music which does not neccesarily have proper copyright do we need to worry? Would we be likely to get in trouble for playing it or is it common practice?
    *Fees - What's the best way to go about charging a fee, and would this need declaring to the taxman if it's not a main source of income?

    Are there any other issues that need sorting when performing a concert? Any help and advice most gratefully received!
  2. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    For the copyright stuff there is the "Copyright FAQ" sheet thingy which you can find under "Articles" at the top... nice to see you put an "if" in at the start of that sentence, should save you some bother!

    As far as I know you need different licences for different performances. For instance a venue may have a licence for performances and so they can allow you to play there. For outside performances you need a licence from the council.
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi TDAM....:)

    Have you read the tMP Copyright Fact Sheet by any chance. We spent a considerable amount of time recently putting together a comprehensive information sheet regarding copyright issues and bands. I think you will find that this answers most, if not all of your questions.

    Please let us know if you found the article helpful.

  4. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    1. Insurance:
    Watch out for the insurance equation. I quote a presenter on LBC many years ago who said "insurance companies exist to take in the maximum amount of premium, and pay out the minimum in claims, the difference is called profit!"

    So if your ensemble are playing say, in the village hall for a concert, and someone falls over the bass trombone player's case and breaks a leg, you could say "sue the hall owner", but his/her insurance company will try to make you liable and deny any responsibility. You could then be sued and left without a roof over your head!

    There are many insurance companies who will insure your instruments for a small sum, and provide an additional public liability insurance free gratis (shame it does not work the other way round!)

    My baritone is insured for £1k, but I get £2M public liability insurance thrown in, all for £45 a year...

    Contact me off forum for more details (I do not have any connection with insurance companies btw)

    2. Performing licences

    The law here is changing, watch the MU website for up to date gen.

    3. Collecting licences

    If you collect money in a public place you require a licence, usually free from the Local Authority. You will also require sealed collecting tins, and permit badges (from HMSO)

    Good luck, been there recently, got the t-shirt, got the tie pin...

    Alan Lafferty
    Organiser, Bude Metric Brass
  5. Tone deaf and mute

    Tone deaf and mute New Member

    Thanks for all the info so far! I'm still a bit confused on the issues of the different types of performing licences, it's seems like a bit of a minefield! How much does a typical licence cost and where do i get one from?

    Performing Rights Society - does a group just pay a set fee for an annual performing licence and then tell them what music they've been performing, or is a certain amount per performance of each piece? What are the typical costs involved? (I've looked on their website but i'm still stumped)
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Dave Payne who works for the PRS is a member here. Hopefully he'll see this thread ond jump in with some infio for ya...
  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Pushed for time at the mo (and off work the rest of this week) but if it can wait until Monday I'll 'jump in' ;-) :)