Pub told to be not so Merry by court

A TOP judge at London’s High Court has banned the owner of a Kirton pub from playing music until he gets an up-to-date licence.

Mr Justice Roth, barred Trevor Ashard, trading as the Merry Monk at 4-6 Willington Road from playing recorded music there after hearing he had been caught playing copyrighted tracks on the premises without a music licence.

Ashard, who was not present or represented in court, can expect a legal bill for £1,678 as a result of the proceedings. It must be paid within 14 days.

On Monday the judge ordered him not to play any more music at any premises he runs until he brings his music licence up to date. The maximum punishment if he disobeys is a fine of up to £10,000 and up to six months in prison.

The order was imposed after the judge heard that he was caught playing music on the premises when he did not hold a licence from music royalties collectors Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL).

A PPL inspector attended on January 6 and heard tracks being played including ‘The Weakness In Me’ by Keisha White, ‘(Something Inside) So Strong’ by Labi Siffre, ‘Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed and ‘Sky Blue and Black’ by Jackson Browne.

Fiona Clark, counsel for PPL, said solicitors sent letters to the premises informing Ashard of the fact that the playing in public of sound recordings without PPL’s licence or permission constitutes infringement of its copyright, and inviting him to acquire a licence.