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Digital DJing Law

Did you know its illegal to play mp3s in public without owning the new PPL digital DJ license? DJmag analyses the new license...

UK DJs should be aware that to play music in public they must have a Public Performance License.

It's required by each DJ unless they only perform in already licensed venues, in which case the venue provides that license instead.

Playing MP3s anywhere in public is illegal unless you own the PPL's (Phonographic Performance Limited) new Digital DJ license, available for a little over £200 per year.

However, flaws have been highlighted in the new license.

If you own the Digital DJ license you're allowed to play an MP3 off a laptop's hard disk.

But you're not allowed to play that same MP3 off a CD-R.

CD-Rs

"We haven't come up with a licensing solution for CD-Rs," Peter Leathem, Director of Legal and Business Affairs at the PPL has revealed to DJmag.

"The decision taken was that CD-Rs were an unnecessary complication of the simple license we had come up with."

However German techno DJ Chris Liebing is cynical about the new license.

"It is the most ridiculous thing ever. Paying more money when a track has already been paid for makes sense for a radio station, yes.

"Yet, when it comes to flat fees for DJs it's the most ridiculous thing in the world."

For the full story about the PPL's new Digital DJ License, check out the special investigation in the latest issue of DJmag.