Frequently asked questions

Please note that the following information on copyright is intended as a guide only. The information is not a comprehensive statement of the law and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

The licence covers the college’s premises for extra curricular use of music. The extra curricular use of music can be split into two main areas:

Featured Musical Events

including, but not limited to, concerts, musical recitals, student discos, dance and aerobic classes.

Unlimited Use of Background Music

including, but not limited to, fêtes, telephone music on hold, radios, stereos or jukeboxes in pupil or staff common rooms, or perhaps in a canteen where music is played

The Licence also covers use by the school’s Parent Teacher Association, who may put on a function (within the licensed premises) that uses music – dinner dances or discos, for example. It does NOT, however, cover the premises for musical or theatrical presentations organised by third party promoters.

Both licences are required for playing pre-recorded music. PRS for Music  exists to protect the music composer’s rights and collect royalties on their behalf, whereas the PPL is the collecting society for the performers and record companies such as Sony and EMI for example, who actually make the CD or tape.

A PRS for Music Licence also covers live performances. For more information, see the Phonographic Performance Ltd website. CEFM are not involved with the collection of PPL licence fees within the UK Further Education sector. The Phonographic Performance Ltd is in no way connected with PRS for Music.

If the composer, writer, arranger or editor of the music is still alive or died within the last 70 years the music will still be in copyright.

If the author of the words is still alive or died within the last 70 years then the words will still be in copyright.

If the edition was printed within the last 25 years then the edition is still in copyright.

Any theatrical production, concert or event that portrays a story is regarded as a dramatic presentation. This can be done through using dramatic action, costume, scenery or narrative, for example musicals, compilation shows, plays, operas and ballets. These types of production are not covered by the PRS for Music Licence. Instead, the rights are controlled by the copyright owner. This is known as a Grand Right, and is where the owner or administrator of that production controls the right to perform it. You will have to negotiate a fee directly with them to perform their work.

The Music Publishers Association (MPA) should be able to help you determine a production’s copyright owner. The MPA is in no way connected with the Centre for Education & Finance Management. Visit the MPA website.

No. Off-site performances are not included as the licence covers the school premises not the organisation. The venue must hold a PRS for Music Licence if one is required.

This is not a PRS for Music Licence issue so long as the recording is for educational purposes – i.e. curricular use. However, colleges can record television programmes and BBC radio for educational purposes provided they hold an appropriate licence from the ERA.