Performing rights and copyright


In the summer edition of Highnotes: we explore how groups can adapt to and implement change, and what Making Music can do to support them in the process. Will Prideux, Director of Peterborough Sings! talks about Peterborough Male Voice Choir’s work supporting project-based recruitment. We also discuss the second report from the Big Survey 2022, focusing on the financial contributions the leisure-time music sector makes to professionals.  

Getting to grips with PRS and copyright (online event)

The topic we receive the most queries about is PRS. What is PRS, how do you pay it and just why is it so complicated?

In this session, we’ll clear up some of the mysteries and help you to understand how, when and where you need to make your PRS payments, and what you need to consider when performing live, sharing sheet music and broadcasting performances online. We'll also explain the new classical music tariff, and the 50% discount for leisure time music groups.

We'll talk about:


United Kingdom

Webinar recording: Where do I find sheet music, and at what price?

In this recording of our webinar (original event 8 March 2024), we talked about the options available to members for sourcing sheet music.

Webinar: PRS for Music’s renewed Live Classical scheme for Amateur Groups

In this webinar expert guest speakers from PRS for Music explain the latest changes to its live classical tariff. Original webinar took place on Monday 12 June 2023.

PRS for Music recently announced the details of changes to its live classical licence, which come into effect for events held from 1 September. As part of the announced changes, a 50% discount is newly available to amateur groups, making it easier for communities across the UK to host events and concerts.

Webinar recording: Commissioning the future

In this recording of our webinar, guest speakers discussed how the programming of living music creators can influence and diversify the repertoire of the future.

This event had a double focus: helping you understand more about the benefits and challenges of commissioning a music creator, and also exploring who you should commission and how to broaden your search and find the right music creator for your group.

We welcomed guest speakers:

The role of the librarian

The role of the librarian is important for the smooth running of your group and doing it well can make a big difference.  You need systems to keep track of all the music whilst being flexible enough to cope with unexpected schedule changes, and the more disorganised members of your group who may forget or lose their music.  

The main responsibilities and challenges are: 

How and where to source music

Sourcing music is vital to the efficient running of a music group. It normally falls to the librarian to do this and can involving obtaining music from a variety of sources.

In this resource, we’ll look at how and where you can find the music you need, and the things you need to think about when dealing with publishers and music libraries. 

Hiring or buying music from publishers

Obtaining music from publishers is vital for leisure-time music groups. Whilst it can be a big and sometimes difficult task, it doesn’t have to be. We have worked with various publishers and the Music Publishers Association (MPA) on this guidance to ensure our groups can access the music they want and receive the best possible service in doing so.

YouTube content claims

If you’re sharing a recording online of your group performing music which is in copyright, then you need to ensure that the website or platform you are using has the correct licence(s) to allow you to do so.

YouTube does have licenses and permissions in place for this, which usually means that you do not have to obtain any other licenses from PRS to be able to share your recordings of copyrighted music on YouTube. Check our guidance on licensing live music online to find out how you can determine whether the correct licenses are in place.

Copyright, licensing and permissions - Part 6: Live music online

When your group decides to perform a piece of music, there will be copyright laws, permissions and licences to be aware of. Part 6 of our guidance looks at how this applies to live or ‘as live’ online performances. For more information on what copyright is, see Part one: What is Copyright?