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Vince Power says PRS injunction against him set aside

By | Published on Wednesday 26 November 2014

Vince Power

Vince Power has said that the injunction issued against him as a result of legal action by the music publishing sector’s collecting society PRS has been set aside in court.

As previously reported, PRS claims that Power’s Hop Farm festival operated without a licence from the society between 2009 and 2012, meaning that public performance royalties weren’t paid on songs performed at the event that are owned by songwriters and publishers allied with the rights organisation.

The company that actually operated the Hop Farm event during that time, Music Festivals plc, no longer exists, having gone under in 2012. But PRS argued that Power should be held personally liable for the unpaid royalties as the person in control of the company at the time.

It was an interesting argument to put to the court, but it wasn’t tested because Power didn’t respond to PRS’s lawsuit. The courts, therefore, ruled against the veteran promoter by default, ordering him to pay the society’s legal costs and to settle the case against him. The court order also seemed to ban Power from promoting music events in the UK until the matter was resolved.

But Power immediately hit back once the court order had been issued, arguing that he had not been aware of the PRS’s litigation against him, and had never been formally served papers. It is seemingly on those grounds that the promoter sought to have the injunction set aside and, according to Power’s spokesperson, that was achieved last week.

Said spokesperson told reporters: “Vince complained to PRS that its lawyers had made no proper attempt to serve him and required the injunction and the order for costs to be set aside. The order was made in his absence because he knew nothing about the hearing. PRS agreed to have the injunction and costs award set aside by High Court order”.

The spokesperson also accused PRS of issuing misleading statements back in August about the nature of the injunction against Power, saying: “When PRS broke the news [it] also wrongly claimed that it had obtained an injunction banning Vince from staging musical events. It had not – the order simply required him to pay licence fees in order to stage events and that is the law anyway”.

We assume PRS could now re-file its original lawsuit anew, because it seems that last week’s court decision only dealt with the society’s failure to alert Power to the case against him, rather than any of the rights group’s actual arguments as to whether the Hop Farm festival went ahead without a public performance licence, and if so whether Power could be help personally liable for that. But PRS is yet to respond to Power’s statement.