Music Royalties Body Threatens Singing Store Clerk
By Jane McEntegart, published on October 23, 2009
" A store clerk in Scotland who was told she was not allowed to sing while she restocked the shelves has received a formal apology from Performing Right Society (PRS).
The BBC reports that Sandra Burt was told by the PRS (the body that collects royalties behalf of the music industry) that she was not allowed to sing to herself while she stacked shelves unless she obtained a license to perform.
The PRS originally contacted Mrs. Burt's place of work earlier this year, informing the store owner that he must have a license to have the radio playing in a place where customers would hear it. Rather than hassle himself, Sandra's boss decided to ditch the radio altogether. Bored, Sandra began singing to herself while she filled the shelves.
The Clackmannanshire resident was then contacted by the PRS and told she needed a performing license if she wished to continue singing. Burt laughed off the warning that she could be prosecuted and continued to sing. However, she was then told she could be fined thousands of pounds. Sandra said she tried hard to stop singing, but couldn't.
"They would need to put a plaster over my mouth to get me to stop, I can't help it," she told the BBC.
The PRS has since apologized. The royalties body sent her flowers with a note conceding she had a lovely singing voice and that they had 'made a very big mistake.'
Read the full story here. "