Any business that plays/broadcasts recorded music or music videos in public (played in any context other than a domestic one), such as a shop, bar, office, restaurant, gym, community building, not-for-profit organisation – or activities such as dance classes – including radio or TV – is legally required under the law N 59/76 (as it has been amended) to own a licence.
This compulsory licence is granted by Asteras Collective Rights Management Ltd (Asteras) after an arrangement with UK, US and individual Greek artists and Performers – who have given our company the right to protect and manage their Performers’ Rights and this legally entitles them to receive a fair payment in return when their music is played in public.
Ensuring owning the appropriate licence, is solely the responsibility of individual businesses. Although, Asteras undertakes a range of local activities to try and raise awareness of music licensing requirements amongst businesses, the legal requirement to obtain a licence is not affected by whether or not a business was aware.
Where a business or organisation requires an Asteras licence but does not obtain one, they will be infringing copyright and may ultimately face legal proceedings. Those proceedings would not be a debt claim; instead they would be in respect of copyright infringement liability. Legal proceedings are very much a last resort, but unfortunately are sometimes necessary. A court can order the business to pay its outstanding licence fees plus Asteras’ legal costs and issue a court order known as an injunction to stop the business playing recorded music until this is done.
Asteras is different from PRS for Music. Asteras collects and distributes licence fees for the use of recorded music on behalf of performers, while PRS for Music collects and distributes fees for the use of musical compositions and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers. In most cases of recorded music being played in public, a music licence is required from both organisations.