Skip to main content

Music: Copyright

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the Government response to the consultation on changes to exemptions from public performance rights in sound recordings and performers' rights, and pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip Northwood of 1 February 2010, Official Report, column 101W, on religious practice: buildings, whether recorded music used in divine service such as funerals, baptisms and weddings by (a) the Church of England and (b) places of religious worship certified by the Registrar General under the Places of Religious Worship Act 1855 will require a public performance licence under the proposed Option 1 changes; and what role he has played in the consideration of these changes. (318314)

The proposed changes to the current charitable statutory exemptions for the public performance of recorded and broadcast music will apply to music used in divine worship by the Church of England or places of worship as certified. However, as part of this process, Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), the organisation who license the public performance and broadcast of sound recordings, have agreed to implement a voluntary exemption for the use of broadcast and recorded music not only as part of divine worship anywhere but also for all religious ceremonies, civil ceremonies and civil partnership ceremonies; domestic/family occasions such as wedding parties; residential homes/hospices (not including staff areas); hospital wards and medical therapy.

The Government fully consulted on this matter, taking into account legal advice and an impact assessment prepared by Europe Economics, and negotiated a number of safeguards including a system of joint licensing, a code of practice and an independent complaints ombudsman. I have been involved at all key stages of the consultation and officials have kept me informed throughout. I considered this matter extensively before writing to the Economic Development Committee on 2 July 2009 for clearance. I received clearance for the publication of the Government response and the proposed repeal of the charitable exemptions on 24 July 2009.