PRS ‘Heavy Handed’ On Forecourt License

Some garage owners say the Performing Rights Society is being heavy-handed by making them responsible for the music coming out of car radios.

Len Attwood from Witham, Essex, doesn’t have a radio on his premises but has been forced to put up a sign requesting that customers turn off their radios when getting their cars worked on.

Garage owners without a music license have been told they must stop their customers from driving into their premises with their car radios on. If that doesn’t work, customers should be told to turn the radios off. The PRS has been warning garages that they’re breaching the law if they don’t comply.

Attwood, who is 61 and has run Motor Maintenance for 31 years, told The Daily Telegraph it’s “total madness.”

“The radio stations are paying to play the music and we have to pay to listen to it – they are taking with both hands,” he explained. “It’s stupid. I couldn’t believe the way they are going about it.”

He says PRS phoned the garage and asked if it had any form of music entertainment on the premises.

“I said customers bring their vehicles in with their radios on and while we are working on them the radio is playing. But other than that no,” he replied.

“The woman said she would get back to me. She came back with her supervisor who said I would have to turn the car radios off but I said we didn’t like to tamper with the customers’ settings.”

He said he doesn’t want to pay £45 for a license in the current economic climate.

Garages fall under rules that allow the PRS to collect license fees from premises where music is played within public earshot.