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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 10:45 GMT
Customers have no rights to music
Mark Haines at work
Music in the shop helps the day go by for Mark Haines
A motorbike and scooter repair firm has been told to switch off its radio when customers are able to hear it or get a special 85 licence.

The Performing Rights Society sent a warning letter to Bedlam Scooters on the Elms Industrial Estate in Bedford.

Director Mark Haines, said: "We first had a phone call telling us we needed a licence to play music in our workshop.

"We thought it was a wind-up at first, but then we had the letter and leaflet delivered the next morning."

The cost of a licence is 85 but the company has decided to turn off the music instead.

"We only have the radio on in the workshop but it seems that if it is on when a customer is present and we have no licence then we are breaking the law," Mr Haines said.

Permission needed

"We only have around half a dozen customers visit a day but now every time one comes in the radio goes off.

"It's not like we are a big store pumping music down the aisles. We just have Radio 2 on and listen to Terry Wogan, Ken Bruce and Steve Wright."

A notice has gone up in the workshop telling customers they cannot listen to the radio as they do not have a licence.

A Performing Rights Society spokesman said: "Anyone wanting to play music in public needs the permission of the people who wrote every piece of music they intend to play.

"To make this easier, composers and songwriters formed 'collecting societies' to grant these permissions on their behalf.

"From time to time, the society focuses on small segments of potential licensees who may not know about the work of the society.

"Currently, we are writing to motor traders to explain about the work it does and the way composers and songwriters are paid."

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