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The Performing Rights Society (PRS), which collects royalties for musicians in the UK, has accused Lancashire police of committing copyright infringement by playing music in police stations and to callers on hold without an appropriate license. In a writ submitted to the High Court, the PRS has called for an injunction and payment of damages.
The PRS contends that playing music that is audible to others constitutes a public performance, meaning that it can't be done without a license. The Lanca
PRS took similar action against car repair chain Kwik-Fit last year, demanding payment of £200,000 in damages simply because car mechanics frequently played their radios loud enough for others to overhear. PRS insists on a license regardless of the means by which the music is performed, so those of you in the UK had better think twice before humming a tune within earshot of another human being.