Already squeezed to the point where seven British pubs close down each day, two of the trade organisations representing them claim they should have to pay less for playing music.
The British Hospitality Association and the British Beer and Pub Association claim the rates, applied in 2004, are costing the hospitality sector about £6 million ($10.1 million) per year.
They say PPL, which licenses the premises and collects the revenues, should cut the rates and some of the money already paid should be returned.
In 2005, a year after the collection society brought in the higher rates for playing music on TVs and radios in pubs, bars and restaurants, the matter was referred to the Copyright Tribunal.
Legal wrangling and appeals have delayed the matter, but the tribunal is expected to reach a decision by the fall.