NSM continues to challenge MCPS and PRS Music

23/12/2011

Following the recent release from the PRS, Coin-op Community has offered NSM Music the right to reply:

“You may have read that NSM recently lost its appeal against the Court’s decision in connection with MCPS and PRS Music’s claim for music license fees from NSM.

Whilst NSM is disappointed with the outcome, it is NSM’s case that the Courts have failed to understand the technical flaws in MCPS and PRS Music’s Music Service Licences.NSM will continue to dispute the legal basis upon which MCPS and PRS Music seek to charge NSM and other jukebox manufacturers. Not only because NSM believes that MCPS and PRS Music are not entitled to the license fees they seek to charge but also to bring to the attention of other jukebox manufacturers that certain license fees are not due. MCPS has been looking to charge NSM for digital music rights without demonstrating to NSM its ability in law to do this. MCPS and PRS Music now claim that they have the legal basis to claim for licence fees relating to digital downloads. NSM’s case is that MCPS and PRS Music did not have these rights when NSM entered into a licence with MCPS and PRS Music.

NSM disputes that MCPS and PRS Music have the legal authority to collect for digital music rights. Furthermore, NSM disputes the basis upon which MCPS and PRS Music are seeking to charge NSM and other jukebox manufacturers music license fees for what they call “Licensed Services” which MCPS and PRS themselves in their Music Services (Business to Business) Scheme Agreement define as “background music” or “background audio-visual material”.

It is well known in the industry that NSM and most other jukebox manufacturers do not supply jukeboxes for background music. The jukeboxes are used where patrons pay for foreground music of their choice. NSM is committed to supplying its customers with the best technical products and an unrivalled music service at the best possible price. Ultimately the costs NSM and other jukebox manufacturers pay are reflected in the coin drop paid for by the patrons. It is therefore important that NSM controls the cost of royalties for any music service to ensure that NSM can offer its customers value for money.

NSM has attempted to engage in a dialogue with MCPS and PRS Music through its legal representatives to see if an amicable agreement can be reached where MCPS and PRS Music can charge fees for the correct type of music services. NSM believes that this would be a sensible way to resolve the technical differences that appear to be the bone of contention at this stage. Unfortunately, MCPS and PRS Music have to date failed to engage with NSM and have instead opted to issue press releases which aim to act as a threat to other licensees to pay up or shut up. This is unfortunate and NSM hopes that MCPS and PRS Music will engage with NSM either through the Courts or commercially to resolve matters and agree a position which is acceptable to NSM and other jukebox manufacturers.”

For further information please contact our corporate counsel Sameer Sacranie at sameer.sacranie@nsmmusic.com

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