PATRONS at a pub will be drinking in silence after the landlord was banned from playing music for breaching copyright laws.
Robert Tighe, who runs The Rose and Crown pub in Eckington, was caught playing pop music on the premises without a proper licence.
He now faces a heavy fine or a prison term if he breaches the court order.
Judge Mr Justice Vos, sitting at the High Court in London, heard Tighe didn’t hold a licence from music royalty collectors Phonographic Performance Ltd.
An inspector from PPL visited the pub last July and heard tracks being played by Billy Idol, Bonnie Tyler and Lionel Richie.
Solicitors sent letters to The Rose and Crown inviting Tighe to buy a licence, but he failed to do so.
The repertoire managed by PPL covers around 97 per cent of all recorded music.
Licences can cost hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds depending on the size of the venue and intended audience.
Clare Goldie, from PPL, said the organisation has a ‘large and diverse’ membership.
“Members include major record labels and globally successful performers, as well as many independent labels, sole traders and session musicians ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers – all of whom are entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances,” Ms Goldie added.
Tighe was also handed a bill for £1,715 in legal costs, which must be settled within 14 days.
If the landlord fails to obey the court order and bring his licence fees up to date he will be regarded as being in contempt of court - the penalties for which can be fines of as much as £10,000 and up to six months in prison.
Tighe did not attend the hearing and was not represented in court.