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Staff-radio hardware store wins music royalties case

Published: 30 July 2013
An Irish hardware store/builders merchant has successfully defended itself against a demand to pay music royalties because its employees listened to a radio.
Staff-radio hardware store wins music royalties case
Phonographic Performance Ireland, which acts for a number of record labels, was pursuing CP Smyth & Sons of Mullingar, Co Westmeath for over €1,550-worth of royalties dating back to 2002, plus damages - a bill that amounted to €6,350 in total.

However, the business decided to fight the claim, hiring Dublin law firm Denis I Finn. It had previously won a very similar case in which the court deemed that a shoe shop should not have to pay royalties because a radio listened to by staff was not being played for profit or to attract customers into the shop, and there was no communication of the music to the public.

As a result of having had the similarities of the two cases pointed out, PPI dropped its prosecution again CP Smyth, whose employees only listened to their radio when the shop was not busy.

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