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Court Orders Jukebox Company NSM To Pay PRS License Fees

Posted On: 12/20/2011

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LONDON -- The High Court of England has denied NSM Music Ltd.'s appeal of the judgment made against it earlier in the year in favor of the Performing Rights Society for Music because it had no real prospect of success.

PRS, which represents the interests of the creators or publishers of musical works in the UK, challenged NSM's licensing status earlier this year.

The High Court heard the case on Nov. 4 during an oral hearing before Justice Newey. According to PRS, the court determined that NSM, a manufacturer of jukeboxes and provider of digital music content, has no further right of appeal and must now pay more than £85,000 in unpaid license fees, in addition to interest and legal costs.

This is the latest development in the dispute, following the court's June decision in favor of PRS in its claim against NSM, which reportedly was refusing to pay PRS licensing fees. The court found that the jukebox company had no reasonable prospect of successfully defending the claim brought by the music group and dismissed the arguments raised in its defense as being without merit.

Andy Hind, head of recorded media licensing at PRS, described the case as an unnecessary and "long drawn out" process. He added that it will end up costing NSM significantly more than if it had paid music license fees.

NSM Music Ltd. and NSM Music Inc. are both subsidiaries of NSM Music Group (Leeds, England). NSM Music Inc. operates independently in the U.S., and says it has its own licensing arrangements there with various music labels, publishers and performing rights organizations. NSM Music Inc. is not impacted by the dispute between NSM Music Ltd. and the PRS, which only involves UK licensing.