Copyright Chaos 2: Taking Action – An Open Letter to the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

NB: Any retailers who missed the deadline for signing may sign via the comments below…

A LETTER  submitted to the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, on Friday 29th June 2012:

Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET

29th June 2012

Dear Dr Cable,

We the undersigned are a group of retailers who are becomingly increasingly concerned about the restrictions being placed upon our ability to sell music product by increasingly stringent copyright regulations.

Specifically, for us to sell music product we need to be able to play that music in our shops to enable our customers to make informed decisions prior to purchase, in the same way as they are able to browse books and examine other products before buying.

Yet the music industry has adopted policies that require us to take out licences from two different agencies, PRS for Music (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) — costs of which vary wildly according to the size of the shop — merely in order to allow customers that opportunity.

The cost of these licences is such that many of us are no longer able to make economic sense of them: margins on the products are slim and typically retailers need to sell up to 20 CDs each month just to cover the cost of the licences themselves. We simply cannot afford them and as a consequence of being unable to play the music, sales are dropping even further.

The music industry must recognise that playing music specifically in order to promote the sale of that music does not require licensing anymore than displaying an open book requires a licence.

Your government has stressed the need to do away with unnecessary red tape and to revitalise Britain’s High Streets. These licensing restrictions are precisely the kind of red tape that is undermining that revitalisation and we call upon you, as Business Secretary, to take urgent action to amend these unnecessarily restrictive regulations before it is too late and even more shops are driven out of business to the further dereliction of our towns and cities.

We are more than willing to meet with you and talk these matters through if you require further clarification or information.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you and yours sincerely,

Graham Allen
Christian Resource Centre
2 Radford Road
Leamington Spa.
CV31 1LX
01926 426573

Rob Cook
OM Books
Westwood, Orton Grange
Carlisle CA5 6LB
01228 815267

Andrew Gatt
Books Plus Gloucester
The Atrium
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Great Western Road
T: 08454 228585

Keith Galley
The Bible Bookshop
17 Huntbach Street
Stoke on Trent
01782 214709

Daniel Balsdon
15 High Cross St
St Austell
PL25 4AN
T: 01726 63945

Ricky McCoubrey
Ards Evangelical Bookshop
“Crimond House”
48 Frances Street
Co. Down
BT23 7DN
T: 028 9181 7530

Melanie Carroll
Unicorn Tree Books & Crafts
35/40 Central Market
Sincil Street
T: 01522 525557

Andrew Lacey
The GLO Bookshop
78 Muir Street
T:01698 263483

Martin Deadman
Perivale Christian Bookshop
90 Bilton Road
t: 020 8998 2933

Luke Hughes-Bunger
The Hub Christian Resource Centre Ltd.
31-31a Stafford Street
West Midlands
WS2 8DG.
T: 01922 279227

Andy Rigby
Christian Bits
5 Underwood Road
GU27 1JQ
T: 01428 653853

Debbie Thompson
Greyfriars Bookshop
Friar St
T: 0118 9516703

David Rees
Books Alive
86 Elm Drive
East Sussex
T: 01273 738818

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One thought on “Copyright Chaos 2: Taking Action – An Open Letter to the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

  1. Pingback: Copyright Chaos 3: Music Licensing for Retailers – the Government Responds | The Christian Bookshops Blog

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