A barber has landed a £1,500 bill after having the radio playing while cutting customers' hair.
Manager of the the House of Hair and Beauty in Preston, Neil Hull, had even purchased a licence from the Performing Rights Society (PRS), so that he'd be able to play the wireless in his salon.
But the the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), took him to court claiming he needed a further licence from it too, in order to play any recorded music in a "public" place
A flabbergasted Hull said he'd never heard of the PPL.
Nevertheless, a London High Court judge banned Hull from having playing the radio or CDs in the salon while customers - or staff, for that matter, were present.
A snoop had visited the salon some months earlier, where he was miffed to hear the likes of Kasabian blaring out from a radio.
He snuffled off back to the PPL which began sending warning letters to the salon, demanding its pound of flesh. When Hull failed to reply or stump up for a licence, he was summoned to the High Court. He stayed home and in his absence was banned from playing recorded music in the salon and handed a bill for £1,569 to cover legal costs.
The PPL demands at least £200 for a licence, which it is supposed to pass on to performers and record companies. The PRS also wants at least £200 for a licence which it hands over to songwriters.
Hull told the Lancashire Evening Post: “We have got a PRS licence. They said this is not PRS, it’s someone else. It’s like paying for everything twice. At the end of the day, they can charge whatever they want. We have no say in it.”
A spokesman for the PPL said: “It is a legal requirement for any business that plays recorded music in public to have a PPL licence. PPL takes infringement of its members’ copyright very seriously and we will take the necessary action to protect our members’ rights."