The decision of the Copyright Tribunal, which heard that some licence fees more than doubled in 2005, is expected to result in around £20 million being refunded to retailers. Ongoing savings will amount to an expected £5 million a year.
PPL’s appeal against the ruling failed, and the body – which collects fees on behalf of record companies – has now sent letters to all its current licensees. Former licensees should receive correspondence by mid-June.
PPL will only make payments of £50 and above once it has assessed claims.
The most recent tariff for background music in shops – issued following the tribunal, which capped increases at 10% – stipulates that retailers with an audible area of up to 600 square metres should pay an annual fee of £109.75.
Stores with an audible area of 50 square metres or less, which only use traditional radio or TV broadcasts, qualify for a 50% discount.