Trade bodies for the pub, nightclub and wider hospitality sector have united to oppose PPL’s plans to increase music royalty fees by up to 4,000%. PPL, which collects royalties on behalf of performers and record companies, is proposing that music royalty fees for special events such as DJ nights and discos be increased, as it considers the current charges are not a “fair reflection” on the value of the licence. In their submission to the PPL consultation, trade bodies the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Bar Entertainment & Dance Association (BEDA), British Hospitality Association (BHA), and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), claims the excessive proposed fee increases are unfounded. In their submission, the four trade bodies said: * The excessive proposed fee increases are unfounded and not supported by the FTI Choice Modelling Study commissioned by PPL, which focuses on the value of music as perceived by consumers without ascertaining the impact on businesses and the overall market for Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE). * The changes proposed to the structure of the SFE Tariff would render it unfair and more complex to administer. * If there has been any material change to the market, this should lead to a reduction in the current SFE Tariff, not an increase. Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “There are simply no grounds for the proposed increases which will affect tens of thousands of hospitality businesses. At a time of economic hardship for pubs, we do not need these additional pressures. “PPL are at risk of abusing their monopoly position as the sole provider of copyright recorded music in the marketplace. We hope they will listen to the wide range of voices on this issue, and we would welcome further dialogue with them as soon as possible.” Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director at the ALMR, said this is a “clear and unprecedented threat” which has brought all parties together to fight PPL. She said: “This is nothing less than a dawn raid on an industry already suffering a squeeze on margins, and one which must be resisted at all costs. With average increases for late night bars and pub restaurants of 2500% PPL’s plans are nothing short of unsustainable." John Hayes, chairman of BEDA, agreed that PPL’s proposed increases are “wholly unjustified, economically unsustainable and totally unacceptable”. He said: "Furthermore, the current economic climate is not conducive to increased consumer spending therefore increased costs of the magnitude proposed within the PPL SFE consultation paper, if implemented fully or even in part, would result directly in the decimation of the nightclub industry.” Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, added: “PPL’s proposals, if implemented, would have a serious impact on many of our hotel and restaurant members. Holiday packages including discos and dinner dances, on which many hotels depend, will be particularly badly affected.”