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Norwich pub banned from playing music

PUBLISHED: 10:09 19 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:33 02 July 2010

Mike's Bar in St John Maddermarket, which has been banned from playing music

Mike's Bar in St John Maddermarket, which has been banned from playing music

David Bale

A city centre pub has been banned from playing music after the owner was caught playing copyrighted songs he did not have a licence for.

A city centre pub has been banned from playing music after the owner was caught playing copyrighted songs he did not have a licence for.

Richard Chisnell, owner of Miike's Bar, formerly Boltz, in St John Maddermarket, has also been hit with a legal costs bill of £1,480, which must be paid within 14 days.

Mrs Justice Proudman imposed a High Court order on Mr Chisnell in London on Monday, which bans him from playing music at the pub, after hearing he had been caught playing copyrighted tracks on the premises without a music licence.

Mr Chisnell, who was not present or represented in court, now faces the prospect of fines up £10,000 or even six months in prison if he disobeys the order, which also applies to any other premises he runs.

An inspector from music royalties' collectors, Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) visited the pub on September 15 last year and heard tracks being played including 'Waiting Around', 'Damn' and 'Love Thing'.

Thomas St Quintin, counsel for PPL, said solicitors had sent letters to the pub informing Mr Chisnell of PPL's repertoire, and inviting him to get a licence.

Following his failure to do so, PPL's solicitors served notice of this claim on him.

The ban applies to all forms of mechanically recorded music such as records, tapes and CDs in PPL's repertoire, which covers 97pc of all music.

Music licences can cost thousands of pounds, depending on the size of the venue and the audiences involved.

A spokesperson for PPL said: “Whenever you play a sound recording in public, there are separate licence fees to be paid. PPL distributes its licence fees to record companies, recording artists and musicians, and the Performing Rights Society collects a separate licence fee which it distributes to composers and music publishers.

“A licence is required for any event except a family or domestic gathering, such as a wedding reception or birthday party. PPL sometimes waives fees for charity events.”

It's the second time the owner of the premises has been banned from playing music.

As reported in The Evening News in 2008, its former landlady, Pam Fitzpatrick was caught playing copyrighted music without a licence at the then Boltz wine bar. However, at the time of the ban she no longer ran the pub, so it was subsequently not included in the order.

Mr Chisnell was unavailable for comment.

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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