EU set to introduce mandatory DJ licensing fees and I.D to curb piracy

In an article reproduced from BBC Website 01.4.19

EU announces Musicians license*

By Dominic Cascandy

EU correspondent, BBC News

In news announced today, the Court of Justice of the European Union announced a range of measures designed to curb music piracy, notably the introduction of a license for musicians and DJs to play pre-recorded music. In a statement, Hans Heidelburg speaking from Brussels said “For too long have musicians been aware that they have been able to play pre-recorded music, sometimes illegally downloaded for personal monetary gains, this bill aims to close the gap and create a fair and reportable service to recuperate monies owed to multi national record labels” Speaking on behalf of IFPA, Polo Flair added

“We welcome today’s decision by the CJEU to punish DJs who flagrantly abuse copyright laws to download music and play in clubs, bars and festivals, hopefully this will fill the void in profits we have lost since the rise of MP3’s and portable music players”

The scheme will see and estimated 100 000 UK based DJs pay an annual fee of £1250 per year to play, record or broadcast digital music and must carry at all times as a form of ID if challenged. Large fines will be implemented for those not licensed or carrying appropriate ID.  It will be enforced in the UK by HMRC officers from the Duties and Excise department a spokesman from the HRMC said. In a move surely to inflame tensions with the recent announcement of increased taxes on music downloads from music sites due to a closed loophole in taxes on digital music, the introduction of a fee to play music that is already licensed will be upsetting to most DJs. Label owner and DJ, Erik Pryda said

“This is just ludicrous, so I pay a fee to play music effectively back to myself each year, as I only play music from my own label, should I just write a cheque to myself?”

It is not known as to when this license will be introduced, but close sources have hinted it will be announced as part of the opening of Parliament this May in the Queens speech. A spokesman for the Home Office could not be reached at time of release.