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Vince Power responds to PRS ruling

By | Published on Monday 4 August 2014

Vince Power

Veteran promoter Vince Power has issued a slightly confusing statement in response to that High Court ruling last week that said he may not stage any live events in the UK until a legal dispute with PRS For Music is settled.

As previously reported, editions of the Hop Farm music event from 2009-2012 seemingly went ahead without a licence from PRS, which covers the copyright fees that are due for the performance of songs in the public domain.

The company through which Power ran Hop Farm, Music Festivals plc, then went under in 2012, in theory taking any liabilities with it. But PRS seemingly sued the promoter direct anyway, claiming he was liable for ‘authorising infringement’ as the controlling figure at the Hop Farm company, who had a duty to ensure licences were secured.

But, despite that legal action getting to court, a statement last Friday on behalf of Power began: “Vince would like to state that he has not had any correspondence from PRS regarding this situation and was surprised to read about these supposed outstanding fees of £7987, this is miniscule compared to the amount of money paid to PRS over the years by Vince Power and companies”.

It continued: “If there was any money outstanding to PRS, this would have been dealt with by the administrators for Music Festivals plc which went into administration in October 2012; PRS were notified”.

The statement seems to ignore two elements of the PRS claim – first the authorising infringement argument, and second that the £7987 is the collecting society’s legal fees, not the monies that may or may not be due for copyright infringement. Which suggests Power genuinely is in the dark about this dispute, as bizarre as that seems.

Power himself is also quoted directly in the statement, saying: “I am angry and disappointed that PRS have not contacted me by post, email or telephone. To say that I am banned from staging live music events for the sake of 7k, is damaging to my career”.

He then turned the tables on the royalty collecting body, and started laying out his own accusations, continuing: “In light of the long strained relationship I have with them, I can only see this as PRS being vindictive and a means of deflection for what I see as the real problem within PRS; They have a long list of artists that are owed money which they do not pay. I am very happy for any artists who have been chasing PRS unsuccessfully to contact me to see if there is a way we can group together and get the money they are owed”.

How exactly Power plans to claim outstanding royalties for artists, or whether any artists will take him up on his offer, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, PRS For Music declined to comment directly on Power’s statement, but said: “You need a licence to perform music. If you don’t get a licence when you perform music, we will pursue it. We’re here to ensure that songwriters and composers can earn a living from their craft”.