Great Yarmouth bar silenced after judge orders music ban

A Great Yarmouth bar has been silenced by a High Court judge after being banned from playing any more music.

Caesars Bar in Marine Parade was slapped with the ban in London's High Court after its proprietors were caught playing copyrighted music without a Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) licence.

Mr Justice David Richards imposed the ban, that prevents the bar from playing any more music until they bring their licence up to date.

As well as the ban, owners Andrew Mavroudis and 1st Systems Ltd also face a legal costs bill of �1,766, which must be paid by October 18.

And they have also been forbidden from playing copyrighted music at any other premises they run until they bring their licence up to date. Failure to obey the order would be regarded as contempt of court, the penalties for which can be fines of up to �10,000 and up to six months prison.

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The pay-up or shut-up order was imposed after the judge heard they were caught red handed by a PPL inspector playing music on the premises, when they did not hold a licence.

The PPL licenses recorded music for broadcast, online and public performance use and carries out its work on behalf of thousands of record companies and performers, to ensure they are paid for their work.

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Benjamin Longstaff, representing PPL during the hearing, said solicitors had sent letters to the premises detailing the nature and extent of PPL's repertoire. The letters also explained playing sound recordings in public without a licence or permission constitutes copyright infringement and invited them to get a licence.

The ban applies to all forms of mechanically recorded music such as records, tapes and CDs on PPL's books.

Mr Mavroudis said he did not know anything about the ban or the court case but acknowledged there had been a dispute with the PPL over licence payments, however these related to dates between March 2009 and February 2010, before he took over the bar in June 2010.

He said he had been paying for the licence since then and would be looking into the ban.

He added: 'I have paid �240 a month so I don't know how they have managed to do that (impose the ban).'

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