A MUSIC industry regulator has fired a warning at pubs and clubs which play music without a licence after a nightclub owner was taken to court.

A banning order was made against proprietor Royston Greaves, for playing music without a licence at four Bradford premises: Campbell’s Sports Bar in Barry Street; Uber and The Village, both in Sackville Street, and the Ambassador Club in Sunbridge Road.

The case was brought by the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), after its inspectors found music was being played without a licence at each venue.

Greaves, who was not in court and not represented, has been warned he faces a contempt of court charge, with penalties including fines of up to £10,000 and up to six months in prison, if he fails to obey the banning order until all licence fees are brought up to date.

He was also ordered to pay legal costs of £2,599 by October 28, following a hearing at the High Court in London.

The inspector heard songs including Don’t You Want Me? by the Human League at Campbell’s Sports Bar on October 24 last year; songs such as House Every Weekend by David Zowie could be heard from Uber on December 5 last year; while tracks including Do You Really Like It? By DJ Pied Piper and the Master of Ceremonies could be heard from Village on December 19 last year.

Songs such as Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton could be heard by the PPL inspector coming from the Ambassador Club on February 27 this year.

Maxwell Keay, representing PPL, told Mr Justice Barling that solicitors had sent letters to the premises informing Greaves of the extent of PPL’s repertoire of music.

The letter also warned that playing sound recordings in public without PPL’s licence or permission is an infringement of its copyright. It also invited Greaves to get a licence.

The ban applies to all forms of technically recorded music such as records, tapes and CDs.

PPL licenses recorded music played in public or broadcast and then distributes the licence fees to its performer and recording rights holder members.

After the case, Christine Geissmer, PPL operations director, said: “There is an intrinsic value that recorded music adds to businesses, and this judgement acknowledges that the performers of the music and record companies should be fairly rewarded.

“Businesses that choose to play recorded without a licence may face legal action and financial and other consequences as a result.

“Legal action is only ever sought as a last resort where a business continues to play music following repeated attempts from PPL to get the correct licensing in place.”

She added: “After the deduction of PPL’s running costs, all licence fee income is distributed to PPL’s record company and performer members.

“The majority are small businesses, all of whom are legally entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances.

“PPL does not retain a profit for its services.”

Mr Greaves could not be contacted by the Telegraph & Argus today for comment.