Music and Film Licences for your Holiday Home

Last Updated on December 31, 2014 by admin

MUSIC AND FILM LICENCES  FOR YOUR HOLIDAY HOMEDo your guests ever play music through a radio, TV, CD or MP3 player you’ve supplied? If they do you may need a PRS (Performing Rights Society) Licence.  We explain what this is and when you may need one as a holiday homeowner. For example are you aware that the PRS do not charge a licence fee for single-unit holiday lets meeting certain criteria? Learn more about music and film licences for your holiday home and we’ll try and answer your FAQ’s.

What is a PRS Licence?

When an artist creates music, the performer, record company or other parties will own the copyright to its distribution and playing in public places.  In order to play the music you must have permission to do so from the person that owns the copyright.  A PRS licence gives you that permission.

What is a public performance?

The PRS licence is focused on public performances and not the private playing of music, for example in your car or through an iPod on the train.

Many people won’t be aware that as a holiday homeowner it is deemed a ‘public performance’ by the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, each time a guest plays music in your holiday home on a device you have supplied to them.

Do you need a PRS Licence for your holiday home?

Following customer feedback and consultation with VisitEngland and other major tourism boards, changes were made to the way in which PRS Licensing was viewed for certain elements of the tourism industry.

From 23 August 2010 the Performing Rights Society no longer charge a licence fee for single-unit self-catering businesses meeting all of the following criteria:

  • The holiday home must have three guest bedrooms or fewer
  • The holiday home must be the sole holiday accommodation business owned or operated by the proprietors
  • The holiday home must not be licensed for the sale of alcohol
  • The facilities of the holiday home must only be available to guests

If you are unsure whether you need a PRS Licence please call the Performance Rights Society, who will be able to talk you through and review your particular circumstances, on 020 7598 3666 or visit their website: 

Do you have DVDs in your holiday home?

If you provide DVDs for your visitors to watch then you’ll need an additional licence to ensure you’re not infringing UK copyright law.  This is because when buying the DVD you bought the right to watch the contents privately in your own home, rather than share those contents with your visitors.

If you do have DVDs in your holiday home please refer to these useful links, or consider removing them and asking guests to provide their own. A licence is not required where guests bring their own DVD’s to watch on a player provided as part of the general contents of the holiday home.

Remember that if you have a television in your holiday home you will also require a Television Licence, find out more here:

Please note that this article gives only an overview to some of the potential issues and considerations of Music and Film Licences for your Holiday Home and you should speak to the relevant licencing agency for further guidance.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Our policy includes accidental damage for contents including televisions, audio and video equipment with standard limits of £1500 per appliance with a total per letting property of £5000. These limits may be increased for an additional charge. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

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