Originally Posted by JSP
I don't think this applies to radio? If I was in your situation I'd carry on until someone brought it up and they claim ignorance and blame poor information.
My understanding was it did apply to radio if you are "publicly performing" it (which C2 would be). Also I believe that the PRS license if you come to them voluntarily is about 1/2 the rate they charge if they are actively pursuing a complaint against you.
My "gripe" with the PRS is they almost present themselves as being a government or regulatory body when in fact they are a private (not for profit) company that collects royalties for the artists. So what they are doing is threatening you with civil prosecution for breach of copyright. They present it as clear black and white that you need a license from them in all the circumstances they present but actually because it is cheaper to pay them than fight them there is little case law that tests what is breach of the standard license granted when you buy ordinary music, so there is no cast iron test for when something becomes "public performance" e.g. if it is for your own benefit and the public can overhear it? In C2's case - is it public performance if the client provides the music and only he and his own friends/family can hear it?
They also come across as a little bit threatening when they get in touch and didn't believe me that we don't have music in our office. They pointed out that I would be in "more trouble" if they came out to visit and found out we did have music. I pointed out that our offices are not open to the public and they would therefore have no access in any case. I believe they have no powers of entry - and as a civil matter the police won't help them gather evidence.
In C2's case it is very unlikely that anyone from the PRS would be able to gather evidence on board one of your charters (unless they were a client) so long as you don't play music in marinas or close to the shore - in which case you would deserve what you get for being antisocial anyway!