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PRS “strongly denies” Power’s comments on Hop Farm licence dispute

By | Published on Thursday 27 November 2014

PRS For Music

The music publishing sector’s collecting society PRS says it “strongly denies” some of the allegations made by Vince Power this week in relation to their ongoing legal dispute over the alleged lack of song licensing at the Hop Farm Festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

As previously reported, PRS alleges that the then Power-led event operated without a licence from the collecting society, meaning it failed to pay royalties for the songs performed controlled by publishers and songwriters allied with the organisation. When Power failed to respond to PRS’s lawsuit the courts found against him by default, issuing an injunction ordering the veteran promoter to pay the rights body’s legal fees and to settle the claim against him before staging any more music events.

But Power said that he had never been made aware of PRS’s legal claim which was why he failed to respond to the court action. Then earlier this week he issued a statement saying that the injunction had now been set aside, on the grounds he’d not been alerted to the legal action in the first place. He also claimed that PRS’s original description of the injunction, specifically that he was banned from staging any future festivals in the UK until the dispute was resolved, was misleading.

PRS, however, has hit back itself, confirming that their legal action against Power is ongoing, and disputing some of the things the promoter said this week (though without going into specifics regarding what). A spokesperson for the society told CMU: “While the legal action continues, we are unable to comment in detail however we strongly deny the allegations made recently by Vince Power relating to the High Court action against him in respect of Hop Farm Festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011”.

As previously noted, if the case got properly to court with both sides represented, it could test the PRS’s argument that Power should be held personally liable for the Hop Farm event’s failure to secure a song rights licence even though the corporate entity that operated the festival at that time no longer exists.