Restaurant owners hit with big bill for music blunder

Panoramic restaurant.

Panoramic restaurant. - Credit: Archant

A WESTON restaurant has become a music-free premises after it was caught playing Whitney Houston songs without a licence.

The Panoramic restaurant in Knightstone Road has been banned from playing all recorded music by the High Court.

Solicitors sent letters to the restaurant when it was overheard playing sound recordings without a Phonographic Performance Ltd license by a PPL inspector.

A PPL licence must be acquired by businesses which wish to play music in public, and can cost restaurants from £122.64 to £306.60 a year, depending on the size of the building.

The restaurant now cannot play any recorded music, including tapes, records and CDs, which PPL holds the licence for and disobeying the order could lead to fines of up to £10,000 and up to six months in prison for bosses.

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The restaurant’s owner, Sunset Foods Ltd, was also ordered by the High Court judge to pay £1,646 in legal costs.

The Panoramic’s website says the restaurant is closed until further notice.

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It says: “Despite extensive efforts during the winter season, it is with deep regret that we announce that the Panoramic restaurant and function room is now closed until further notice.

“Negotiations are ongoing in an attempt to continue opening. Please accept our sincere apologies for this regrettable decision, as you can appreciate this is not a decision that we take lightly or indeed wanted to make for our staff and of equal importance, our loyal and continued customers.”

An inspector visited the premises in May last year, and heard a number of Whitney Houston hits being played.

The restaurant was invited to acquire a licence, but failed to do so.

PPL spokesman Clare Goldie said: “PPL does not retain a profit for its services.

“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.”

The Mercury tried to contact the owners for a comment but was unable to get a response.

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