Phonographic Performance Ltd v Fletcher [2015] EWHC 2562 (CH)

The High Court gave a 28-day custodial sentence suspended for 12 months to a nightclub owner for infringing copyright .

Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) applied for committal of the defendant for breach of a court order prohibiting him from playing, or authorising the playing, in public of sound recordings within PPL’s repertoire.

If you play recorded music or music videos in public, you will almost certainly be legally required to have a PPL licence.

Aggravating features

  • A history of failure to get a licence
  • Failure to make licence fee payments after promising to do so


  • There was only one contempt of the Court Order by playing the recordings on a single date
  • It was a first offence
  • The defendant had been suffering from cancer and had been receiving chemotherapy
  • The defendant had been suffering from anxiety and depression

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