Practices playing music “must buy a licence”

  • Date: 10 February 2017

DOCTORS and dentists who play the radio or other forms of music in their practice must buy a licence or risk legal action.

A recent media report suggested dental surgeries may be paying “unwarranted” fees to collection agencies PRS for Music and PPL to listen to music in waiting areas or consulting rooms.

The article cited a decision made by the European Court of Justice in 2012 (Società Consortile Fonografici v Marco Del Corso) which found that broadcasting music within private dental practices in Italy did not require the purchase of a licence.

But a PRS for Music spokeswoman has confirmed that the ruling “concerns specific types of rights and remuneration which are not relevant in UK law or to PRS for Music”.

She said: “The law in the UK clearly provides that the performance and playing in public of works, sound recordings, films or broadcasts, is an act restricted by copyright and exercisable only with the consent of the copyright owner. Therefore, PRS for Music has the right to license businesses who use PRS members’ musical works in this way.”

A PRS licence for a practice waiting room, she added, costs from £84.13 a year. Practices may also require a PPL licence. Find out more at and

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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