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PELs UK Music needs your HELP

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The Shambles 15 Nov 02 - 09:17 PM
The Shambles 15 Nov 02 - 09:27 PM
The Shambles 15 Nov 02 - 09:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 02 - 09:49 PM
The Shambles 16 Nov 02 - 05:42 AM
The Shambles 16 Nov 02 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 16 Nov 02 - 07:30 AM
The Shambles 16 Nov 02 - 10:50 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 01:33 PM
The Shambles 16 Nov 02 - 04:15 PM
The Shambles 17 Nov 02 - 04:57 AM
The Shambles 17 Nov 02 - 11:07 AM
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McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 02 - 12:31 PM
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The Shambles 18 Nov 02 - 03:00 AM
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The Shambles 20 Nov 02 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Rag 20 Nov 02 - 08:32 AM
Fingerbuster 20 Nov 02 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 20 Nov 02 - 09:14 AM
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Subject: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:17 PM

Schedules
Schedule 1
Section 1
Provision of regulated entertainment
Part 1
General definitions

The provision of regulated entertainment

1 (1) For the purposes of this Act the "provision of regulated entertainment" means the provision of—
(a) entertainment of a description falling within paragraph 2, or
(b) entertainment facilities falling within paragraph 3,
where the conditions in sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) are satisfied.

(2) The first condition is that the entertainment or entertainment facilities are provided—
(a) to any extent for members of the public or a section of the public,
(b) exclusively for members of a club which is a qualifying club in
relation to the provision of regulated entertainment, or for members
of such a club and their guests, or
(c) in any case not falling within paragraph (a) or (b), for consideration and with a view to profit.

(3) The second condition is that the premises on which the entertainment or entertainment facilities are provided are made available for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of enabling the entertainment concerned (whether of a description falling within paragraph 2(1) or paragraph 3(2)) to take place.

To the extent that the provision of entertainment facilities consists of making premises available, the premises are to be regarded for the purposes of this sub-paragraph as premises "on which" entertainment facilities are provided.

(4) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(c), entertainment is, or entertainment facilities are, only to be regarded as provided for consideration if any charge—
(a) is made by or on behalf of any person concerned in the organisation or management of that entertainment or those facilities, and
(b) is paid by or on behalf of some or all of the persons for whom that entertainment is, or those facilities are, provided.

(5) In sub-paragraph (4), "charge" includes any charge for the provision of goods or services.

Licensing Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Provision of late night refreshment
Part 2 — Exemptions


(6) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(c), the cases in which the
entertainment is, or entertainment facilities are, to be regarded as provided with a view to profit include any case where that entertainment is, or those facilities are, provided with a view to raising money for the benefit of a charity.

(7) This paragraph is subject to Part 2 of this Schedule (exemptions).
Entertainment

2 (1) The descriptions of entertainment are—
(a) a performance of a play,
(b) an exhibition of a film,
(c) an indoor sporting event,
(d) a boxing or wrestling entertainment,
(e) a performance of live music,
(f) any playing of recorded music,
(g) a performance of dance,
(h) entertainment of a similar description to that falling within
paragraph (e), (f) or (g), where the entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of entertaining that audience.

(2) Any reference in sub-paragraph (1) to an audience includes a reference to spectators.

(3) This paragraph is subject to Part 3 of this Schedule (interpretation).
Entertainment facilities

3 (1) In this Schedule, "entertainment facilities" means facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment of a description falling within sub-paragraph (2) for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of being entertained.

(2) The descriptions of entertainment are—
(a) making music,
(b) dancing,
(c) entertainment of a similar description to that falling within
paragraph (a) or (b).

(3) This paragraph is subject to Part 3 of this Schedule (interpretation).
Power to amend Schedule

4 The Secretary of State may by order amend this Schedule for the purpose of modifying—
(a) the descriptions of entertainment specified in paragraph 2, or
(b) the descriptions of entertainment specified in paragraph 3,
and for this purpose "modify" includes adding, varying or removing any description.


Licensing Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Provision of late night refreshment
Part 2 — Exemptions
Part 2
Exemptions


Film exhibitions for the purposes of advertisement, information, education, etc.
5 The provision of entertainment consisting of the exhibition of a film is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act if its sole or main purpose is to—
(a) demonstrate any product,
(b) advertise any goods or services, or
(c) provide information, education or instruction.

Film exhibitions: museums and art galleries
6 The provision of entertainment consisting of the exhibition of a film is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act if it consists of or forms part of an exhibit put on show for any purposes of a museum or art gallery.

Music incidental to certain other activities
7 The provision of entertainment consisting of the playing of recorded music is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity which is not itself—
(a) a description of entertainment falling within paragraph 2, or
(b) the provision of entertainment facilities.

Use of television or radio receivers
8 The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act to the extent that it consists of the simultaneous reception and playing of a programme included in a programme service within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42).

Religious meetings or services
9 The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities for the purposes of, or for purposes incidental to, a religious meeting or service is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act.

Vehicles in motion
10 The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities—
(a) on premises consisting of or forming part of a vehicle, and
(b) at a time when the vehicle is not permanently or temporarily parked, is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act.


I would also draw your attention to clause 134 (1)(a) which criminalises any musician who performs anywhere without first checking that the place is licensed/authorised for the performance. Clause 137 allows a defence of 'due diligence', but basically it means that if the musician doesn't check first he/she could face heavy fines and a jail sentence.

Clause 134 can be found in the full act. Link to the Bill on the Parliament site

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/001/03001.i-viii.html

Please help.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:27 PM

PELs links to all of them

Online newspapers of the world http://www.actualidad.com/

Music is only one of many concerns in the world. It is up to those that care about music, to ensure that music is not buried underneath those important concerns and some, not so important vested interests.

If we don't do it, no one else will.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:49 PM

There is now no fee for live musical charity fund-raisers.

6) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(c), the cases in which the entertainment is, or entertainment facilities are, to be regarded as provided with a view to profit include any case where that entertainment is, or those facilities are, provided with a view to raising money for the benefit of a charity.

The Government would argue (despite incorporating the fee into the compulsory 'premises' licence and increasing the overall cost to the lincesee), that there is still no fee being charged for live musical charity fund raising events.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:49 PM

I've tried reading this and my head is spinning. Is there a lawyer in the house?

One thing I note is, it looks as if riverboat shuffles and train and bus sessions could be exempt, since the list of exemptions includes:

Vehicles in motion
10 The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities—
(a) on premises consisting of or forming part of a vehicle, and
(b) at a time when the vehicle is not permanently or temporarily parked, is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act.


I note there is still no definition whatsoever of "entertainment" - and the paragraphs around this seem very confused:

(2) The first condition is that the entertainment or entertainment facilities are provided—
(a) to any extent for members of the public or a section of the public,
(b) exclusively for members of a club which is a qualifying club in
relation to the provision of regulated entertainment, or for members
of such a club and their guests, or
(c) in any case not falling within paragraph (a) or (b), for consideration and with a view to profit.


(c) could very well be highly relevant to us, since it could well be interpreted to legitimise sessions which are primarily for the mutual enjoyment of those taking part, when viewed in conjunction with:

4) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(c), entertainment is, or entertainment facilities are, only to be regarded as provided for consideration if any charge—
(a) is made by or on behalf of any person concerned in the organisation or management of that entertainment or those facilities, and
(b) is paid by or on behalf of some or all of the persons for whom that entertainment is, or those facilities are, provided.


But what the hell is the implication of "members of the public or a section of the public" - what kind of distinction are they drawing between "members of the public" and "a section of the public", only to say that they'll be treated as meaning the same thing anyway?


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 05:42 AM

Tessa Jowell in the press release and at the launch of the Bill.

"In short this is a Bill for the public, a Bill for industry and a Bill for commonsense."

Can the introduction of measures in a Bill, that 'can be argued', such as the Schedule definitions Kevin refers to - in a Bill we were all looking to to finally settle such arguments, really be described by the Minister in charge as "commonsense"?


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 05:46 AM

This from Sheila Miller.

Well, I got into the press conference, and managed to ask two questions.
However, the answers were the predictable ones and not very helpful. I
asked, 'Given that there is already plenty of legislation on noise and
safety, why are England and Wales the only countries where it is necessary
to have a licence to sing or play music?

Why is a pub that is assumed to be
safe for 60 people to watch satellite TV not automatically presumed to be
safe for 30 people to listen to three Somerset folk singers?'

Tessa Jowell
handed the question over to Kim Howells to answer. He said, 'Well, I got
into a bit of trouble for my remarks about folk singers.' 'Oh, I know,' I
said. People laughed. He then said something about having to consider
individual cases. He said he had recently been in a pub, having a quiet
drink when a musician had come in with two amplifiers and had started
blasting away. Obviously there were no safety implications here, he said,
but he had found it unpleasant and thought many other people would too.
Then he talked of a pub that was packed with people listening to a local
band, and said there would be safety implications there. As you'll see, he
hadn't answered my questions at all.

So I said, 'But, as I said, there is
already legislation that deals with noise and safety in pubs. The
traditional music of this country is generally played without amplification
and without causing any disturbance. Why is there a presumption against
live music?'

Tessa J took over at this point; she said that the new licence
would cover music in pubs as well as the sale of alcohol, and that in fact
it would make things easier for people running pubs. Someone then came in
with a question about the government's claim that the new law would cut
costs for licensees, and I wasn't able to get in again. But they obviously
had no intention of answering the questions anyway.

Another journalist asked what the MU's attitude to the Bill was; she
understood that they were unhappy about it and thought it would make it
harder for musicians to get work. Jowell said that she believed the MU's
concern was ill-founded, and that in fact the new law would not have this
effect.
Since I got back to work a short while ago, I've had a phone call from
someone on The Guardian, asking my views as a folk club organiser on the
Bill. Someone called Ann Perkins is writing a piece on the Bill, and she
was getting various people's opinions on it. So I hope that article will be
a big one and that it will include a bit about the threat to live music.


And

I've just had a call from Ann Perkins on the Guardian. She says the article
is going to be published tomorrow. She was phoning to check the spelling of
my name, because she's using a quote from me. It may get subbed out for the
sake of length, of course, but at least that means she is covering the
issue of live music in pubs.
We should all buy the Guardian tomorrow and send or e-mail letters to the
paper about the potential harm to folk clubs, sessions and other live
musical events.



Guardian Letters (with name and address) to
letters@guardian.co.uk
letters@guardian.co.uk


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:30 AM

yes, there is a lawyer in the house.

Public or section of the public means that it's not members only (or parents of kids at the xx school only, etc)

But if it's not "public or section" then you still get caught if it's members only but the club is a "qualifying club" (I've not checked that defintion).

And if you escape both of those if it's "for consideration" OR (watch that OR) with a view to profit.

"For COnsideration" is defined. If the pub charges or the session organiser charges anything to anyone and some or all of the people to be entertained (could be both audience and players) pay.

It doe not say that the payment has to be for the entertainmment!

So - door entry fee - caught.
Raise the price of beer - caught.
Pass the hat - very probably caught.

If you escape that (and it'll be difficult for folk, but for an electric band it might work - cheap duo, paid by pub, no increase in the price of beer, but the hope of selling more of it) then it seems to me that would be "with a view to profit". Anyway since the pub is not members only, it's for the public or a section.

Stuffed.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 10:50 AM

Licensing reform and live music
A response to DCMS launch of the Licensing Bill
Hamish Birchall
Musicians' Union adviser - public entertainment licensing reform


The broad aims of the Licensing Bill are to be welcomed, of course. Deregulation of opening times is likely to reduce binge-drinking, and alcohol-related crime and disorder. However, if all the provisions of this otherwise liberalising Bill were enacted, this would represent the biggest increase in licensing control of live music for over 100 years:

110,000 on-licensed premises in England and Wales would lose their automatic right to allow one or two musicians to work. A form of this limited exemption from licensing control dates back to at least 1899.
Churches outside London would lose their licensing exemption for public concerts.

Thousands of private events, hitherto exempt, become licensable if 'for consideration and with a view to profit'.

The same applies to any private performance raising money for charity.

A new licensing criterion is introduced: the provision of 'entertainment facilities'. This could mean professional rehearsal studios, broadasting studios etc will be illegal unless first licensed.

Musicians could be guilty of a criminal offence if they don't check first that premises hold the appropriate authorisation for their performance.

Likewise someone organising a karaoke night in a pub.

Buskers similarly potential criminals - unless they perform under a licensing authorisation.

Church bell ringing could be licensable.

But... broadcast entertainment on satellite or terrestrial tv, or radio, is to be exempt from licensing under this Bill.

The licensing rationale, where live music is concerned, is essentially to prevent overcrowding and noise nuisance. The government claims their reforms will usher in a licensing regime fit for the 21st century. But surely 21st century planning, safety, noise and crime and disorder legislation can deal effectively with most of the problems associated with live music?

Not according to Culture Minister Kim Howells. He says the swingeing increase in regulation is necessary because 'one musician with modern amplification can make more noise than three without'.

Of course it is true that amplification can make one musician louder than another playing without amplification. But that was true when the two performer exemption was introduced in 1961 and had been true for many years before that.

The important question is: does live music present a serious problem for local authorities? Does it justify such an increase in control?

The answer is no. The Noise Abatement Society has confirmed that over 80% of noise complaints about pubs are caused by noisy people outside the premises. The remaining percentage is mostly down to noisy recorded music or noisy machinery.

In fact, while noisy bands can be a problem, complaints about live music are relatively rare. In any case, local authorities have powerful legislation to tackle noise breakout from premises.

All local authorities can seize noisy equipment, and they can serve anticipatory noise abatement notices.

Camden used a noise abatement notice to close the West End musical Umoja earlier this year. One resident's complaints were enough. And the police can close noisy pubs immediately for up to 24 hours.

The trouble is, many complainants perceive the legislation as inadequate because their local authority doesn't enforce it effectively.

It looks as if musicians are being made the scapegoat for a problem that is nothing to do with live music. Certainly abolition of the two-performer licensing exemption will do nothing to reduce noise from people outside premises.

Rather late in the day, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has just commissioned a study into the noise nuisance potential of the licensing reforms - but the study won't be completed until the Spring of 2003 at the earliest. A classic case of shutting the stable door...

The government says that standardising licensing fees, with no premium for entertainment, removes the disincentive to provide live music. This change is welcome.

However, fees are only half the problem. The other half is the potential for unnecessary local authority licence conditions. Earlier this year, Kim Howells warned the Musicians' Union that if it were to lobby for satellite tv to become a licensable entertainment, this would be 'resisted robustly' by the leisure industry.

He did not say why, but the reasons are clear. The industry does not believe government assurances that local authorities will adhere to published guidance over future licence conditions. They fear the cost implications of conditions such as monitored safe capacities, and CCTV. (Two years ago the Home Office warned all local authorities not to impose disproportionate conditions. Few, if any, took notice).

Genuine 21st century reform for live music, particularly small-scale performance in pubs and bars, would see England and Wales brought into line with Scotland and Ireland, continental Europe.

Scotland is a good example because public safety and noise is regulated by UK-wide legislation. In that country a typical bar or pub can host live music automatically during permitted hours, provided the music is ancillary to the main business.

In New York City, premises of capacity 200 or less are likewise free of a requirement to seek prior authorisation for live music. Noise breakout is strictly monitored by street patrols.

In Germany, Finland and Denmark the provision of some live music is asssumed when the equivalent of an on-licence is granted. In rural Ireland no permission is need for live music in a pub, and customers would think it very odd to suggest that it be a criminal offence unless first licensed.

The Musicians' Union has argued for reform along Scottish lines for some time. But the government has rejected this option.

Our campaign for more live music, particularly in small venues, is supported by the Arts Council, the Church of England, Equity, the English Folk Dance and Song Society and many others.

The Union recognises that premises specialising in music, or music and dance (like nightclubs) need the additional controls that licensing provide. But if live music of all kinds is to thrive in small community venues like pubs, an automatic permission, within certain parameters, is essential. We should not treat all musicians as potential criminals. That doesn't sit well with the participation and access agenda of the DCMS.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 01:33 PM

Here is that Guardian story Sheila Mellor was mentioning - Pub revolution 'will cut trouble' - round-the-clock licences will enrich lives, say ministers, but musicians fear reforms will jeopardise jazz and folk in hundreds of clubs:

Members of the Musicians' Union argue that 111,000 entertainers will be drawn into the system for the first time by the bill, jeopardising jazz and folk in hundreds of pubs and clubs, while there will be no controls on big-screen TV.

At the bill's launch in the basement of a Westminster pub, Kim Howells, the minister in charge, was accused of turning his dislike of folk music ("my idea of hell," he once said) into a snobbish vendetta against traditional music.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 04:15 PM

This from Hamish Birchall.

Yesterday the government published the Licensing Bill which, if enacted, would criminalise the provision of most live music in England and Wales, unless first licensed.

As predicted, broadcast entertainment on satellite or terrestrial tv is exempt.

The proposals represent the most significant increase in live music licensing for over 100 years. According to Culture Minister Kim Howells, this is necessary because 'one musician with modern amplification can make more noise than three without'. But since most noise complaints are nothing to do with music (acoustic or amplified), and even one unamplified performer would become illegal unless licensed, this rationale doesn't quite hang together. Anyway here is the link to the Bill:

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/001/03001.107-111.html#J1s1

Schedule 1, 'Provision of Regulated Entertainment', lists and defines what constitutes licensable live music and much more besides. Temporary permissions are covered in Part 5.

Premises licences, which include the option for licensable entertainments, are dealt with in Part 3.

No fees have been published yet, but guidance notes available on the DCMS website repeat the estimates contained in the licensing White Paper of April 2000.

Neither the extensive media coverage or Parliamentary support for reform has influenced the small clique of senior civil servants and Ministers responsible for this legislation.

Both the Musicians' Union and the Arts Council argued forcibly against the huge increase in licensing control, and jointly submitted amendments to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the recent consultation on the draft legislation. But the DCMS rejected them. In that respect lobbying has failed.

It may yet succeed, however, if sympathetic Lords support these amendments (the Bill is going first to the House of Lords). All my efforts, those of the Arts Council working party, and those of supporting organisations, will now be focussed on this.

In practical terms, this is what the Licensing Bill proposes for live music:

Pubs, bars, restaurants etc
110,000 licensed premises lose their automatic right to host one or two live musicians.
A form of this licensing exemption can be traced back to 1899.

Regular performance by even one musician, professional or amateur, amplified or unamplified, to be illegal without licensing permission.

Permission requires approval by police, fire service, environmental health dept, and local residents.

Local authority grants authorisation as part of 'premises licence' and may impose 'necessary' conditions (for public safety, crime and disorder, prevention of nuisance, and protection of children from harm).

If granted, the permission lasts for lifetime of business but may be revoked if noise/crime and disorder problems.

Licence fees to be standardised (at lower levels than now) and set centrally by Secretary of State.

Fee to be no different if licensable entertainment provided.

If live music not authorised, live music to be illegal (save spontaneous renditions of Happy Birthday etc)

Licence terms may be varied later if live music not chosen at outset.

Variation process essentially the same as initial application (see above). A fee will be chargeable.

Where live music not allowed under terms of premises licence, there is an option for up to 5 temporary permissions in a year, granted by a simple notification process (for a fee) provided under 500 people attend.

Private functions
The distinction between public and private events is blurred. Until now most private gigs have been exempt from public entertainment licensing. Most gigs on public land have been exempt. This would no longer be the case. Many, if not most, performances in this context would become illegal unless licensed, either via the premises licence, a club premises certificate, or a temporary event notice.

The wording of the Bill suggests that if a musician is hired to perform at a private event, this alone is sufficient to trigger the licensing requirement (this was hinted at in letters from Howells to MPs: 'it is clear that if a performer is paid, then the performance is public'.)

Any hitherto private performance 'with a view to raising money for charity' to become illegal unless licensed.

Live music in private clubs no longer exempt.

Churches
All public concerts in churches to become illegal unless licensed.

This provision extends legislation that currently applies only in London to the rest of England and Wales. This is very strange, because the London legislation dates from 1963, while the outside London legislation dates from 1982.

Music 'for the purposes of, or for purposes incidental to a religious meeting or service' is exempt.

New concept of 'entertainment facilities' as licensing criterion.
This is another strange provision. It seems that providing 'facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment', such as making music and/or dancing, is now to be illegal unless licensed.

It is a confusing part of the Bill, but my reading of this is that recording studios, rehearsal studios, or practice rooms may be caught. It might also include musical instruments, record decks, microphones, amplifiers, PAs etc etc. I am seeking clarification from licensing lawyers on this one.

Bandwagons exempt!
Curiouser and curiouser: live music performed in, or presumably on, moving vehicles is exempt!

Recorded music - limited exemption
Recorded music is legal without being licensed 'to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity which is not itself - (a) a description of entertainment falling within paragraph 2, or (b) the provision of entertainment facilities'.

In other words, I think pub jukeboxes would be exempt, provided they weren't next to a dance floor (but how do you define a dance floor???)

If you can find time to read the legislation, particularly Schedule 1, I would be very grateful for your comments.

Any musician lawyers out there: your input could be particularly valuable.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 04:57 AM

Recorded music is legal without being licensed 'to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity which is not itself - (a) a description of entertainment falling within paragraph 2, or (b) the provision of entertainment facilities'.

In other words, I think pub jukeboxes would be exempt, provided they weren't next to a dance floor (but how do you define a dance floor???)


As the Government claim the issue is one of noise, how can pre-recorded music, that is incidental etc; not be a noise risk but all LIVE music in pubs (especially non amplified music), which is incidental etc; is a noise risk and presenting a problem that can only be dealt with by an additional 'entertainment' licencing requirement?

This is an anomally under the current legislation that could and should have been addresed in any 'reform'.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 11:07 AM

To sum up - What all this 'gibberish' means is that it will just about be legal to make live music (or dance) in one's own private home.

As long, of course as you do not make a charge, if you do, then even that will be illegal................


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 11:18 AM

PEL threads, links to all of them


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 12:01 PM

How can we help defeat this?


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 12:31 PM

True enough Shambles - if you held the kind of house folk gathering with a guest and a collection or whatever, the way it sees to be done quite often in the States, it looks as if you'd be in breach of the new law.

The Mudcat gathering in Stony Stratford earlier this year would have been illegal, once we started playing any live music for each other in the community centre where we were staying.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:31 PM

How can we help defeat this?

First we have to recognise that those of us that care for music making, have to stop quibbling about our small differences. We have to work together to make this an issue that cannot be ignored.

This quite disgraceful 'scape-goating' of all (but only) LIVE music has been quite deliberate. The thinking is that there are only a small number of musicians who will be affected and who care.

There are many folk who make music, there are just as many who wish they could and just about all of the rest like listening to it. Not just in England and Wales. Everyone can help, so it should not be too difficult to gain support, if we are constructive. We do not have any choice but to give it our very best effort, if we do not do it, no one else is going to do it for us.

There are many useful links on the 'Links to all PEL threads', one of them is the Action for Music site. There it is possible to join a Yahoo email list that will enable all intrested parties to communicate and receive information.   

Contact and inform your local media of the detail of the reform Bill, rather than its 'spin'. Your MP, councillors, folk clubs, all of this will help to spread the word, that many people who may be reasonably happy with more sensible opening hours are not going to be fooled.

Many of us were not expecting much but this apparently vindictive stupidity and prejudice against all (and only) LIVE music and musicians is really far worse than anyone could have imagined.

It is going to be a long haul....


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:14 PM

PEL Idea


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 03:00 AM

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~pfd/

Click on the 'pellets' section of this site, for news of the latest PEL casualty. The Blue Bell.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 03:48 PM

The following is a link to a site where Jim Lawton has worked very hard, with hyper-links and cross references, to make the Schedule 1 'gibberish' a little more readable.

However, even when you can read it, it is still not any more sensible. Good work Jim and thanks.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/james.lawton/schedulefrontpage.htm


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 05:27 AM

Pubs may soon hear sounds of silence

Wednesday November 20, 2002
The Guardian

Dave McGlade's wake-up call (Letters, November 19) only covers part of the story. This proposed pub licencing reform will complete what the Puritans failed to do 350 years ago. It will stop most impromptu performance, whether of music or of anything smacking of drama or other live entertainment. The singsong? RIP. Also, live music at private functions is no longer exempt.
Not content with this, the legislation would not even allow my opera group to give a charity concert in our local church without applying for the costly licence. And, applying for a casual licence for an spontaneous singsong will need 10 days' notice and involve checks by the police, the fire service, the environmental health department and local residents.

This act is madness and the end of pub life as most of us know it. Historically the law has allowed one or two live musicians in a bar. Please read schedule 1 of the act and see for yourselves, and contrast this with the attitudes to live music in Scottish and Irish pubs. By the way, there is to be only limited regulation of recorded music, karaoke and jukeboxes, and no regulation of broadcast entertainment - terrestrial or satellite. Sad, or what?
Bill Evers
York

Details of how you too can contact the Guardian are given earlier in this thread.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 05:29 AM

Dr Howells now insults the USA


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 08:05 AM

This from Hamish

Last Friday (15th) Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell made a speech in the Commons in which she explained the rationale for the Licensing Bill: 'It is a major plank in the government's drive in the Queen's Speech to tackle antisocial behaviour.'

Remember this the Bill that makes the provision of any public concert in a church, even a fund-raising carol concert, a criminal offence unless licensed. The Culture Secretary also said:

'Several speeches by Opposition Members reminded me of G K Chesterton's words: "Since Dickens no one in England has cared for the people's pleasure - the Tories hate the people and the Liberals hate pleasure.'

'As he turns in his grave, Chesterton must be saying, "Thank goodness for a new Labour Government"'


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Rag
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 08:32 AM

Section 134 is a serious weapon in the hands of local authority officials who want to scare the folk session world. It means that if they raid a session, they can prosecute the landlord/manager and any and all musicians taking part.

When I raised this issue locally I was told repeatedly that it wasn't an issue for folk musicians because the landlords would be the people charged with the offence.

Apart from the sheer selfishness of this attitude of these people, maybe now they'll see that it might concern them after all.

Having read the Bill, I feel done up like a kipper! This has got to be the single biggest attack on the playing of traditional music we've ever seen (apart from QE1 hanging the harpers of Ireland in C16th...).

What say you Howells forsooth?


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Fingerbuster
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 09:08 AM

Is there a message/thread anywhere that outlines the proposed (PEL) measures and the possible consequences to live music in succinct, perhaps bullet form?


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 09:14 AM

It's very simple.

All live music (even completely unamplified) either charged for (even on a non-profit making basis) or for profit or that the public can access is illegal unless it's licensed. The local authority can lay down "safety" conditions as a condition of a licence and if you disagree you have to sue them.

Juke boxes are nearly exempt.

TV broadcasts (even if of music) are exempt.

Actual church services are exempt.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 01:23 PM

Bob Currie, director of the community protection department at Westminster council, said in a letter quoted in the Publican: "Dancing could be described as the rhythmic moving of the legs, arms and body usually changing positions within the floor space available and whether or not accompanied by musical support."

The full story of this latest council enforcement and prosecution, can be found on the following.

Dancing Outbreak and definition


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 09:01 AM

The Times
November 23, 2002

Bill 'will damage music in churches'
By Richard Ford, Home Correspondent


THOUSANDS of parish churches and other places of worship will have to pay for licences for concerts to be held on their premises under a government move which threatens to undermine their role in local communities.

Church leaders are concerned that councils may insist that their premises adopt fire and safety measures as a condition of granting the licence. They fear that the cost of getting a licence to allow concerts in churches and other places of worship will lead to the decline of local music groups.

The move will hit festivals in cathedrals such as Worcester and Lichfield, as well as the huge number of concerts — featuring music from Handel's Messiah to chamber works — that are held in rural and urban parish churches and other places of worship.

The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Wakefield, said that the issue was being discussed by the Archbishop's Council in preparation for the Bill's second reading. He said: "If the regulation is too stringent then parish churches will be deterred from hosting events." It was strange that the Government was imposing a licensing condition on churches while also urging that they be used for community purposes, he said.

Under the proposal to achieve licensing consistency throughout England and Wales all churches and places of worship will need an entertainment licence for concerts. At the moment the rule applies only in Greater London.
It would apply to 15,500 Church of England churches and premises of other faiths. Fees for the licences have not been published but at present entertainment fees for other premises vary from £1,000 for an event attended by 1,000 people in Kettering to £424 for a medium-sized event in Newcastle upon Tyne. The London Borough of Camden charged £102 for a licence for an event attended by 100 people.

The move will particularly affect cathedrals, many of which host music festivals attended by thousands of people. It will hit the Three Choirs Festival which takes place at Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals, the annual Lichfield Festival, and regular concerts at York Minster.

The Ven John Barton, Archdeacon of Aston, said that while he understood the wish for consistency and the fear that anyone who was not in line might cause the authorities to be sued, the proposed regulation went too far. "I am afraid it is one signal among many moves where little parish churches doing their best to keep alive fear slow strangulation", Mr Barton said.

He added that he was most concerned about the effects the proposal would have on the role of music in many local communities. "If a local music group asks to give a concert in their parish church and the church has to apply for a licence there will be a temptation to say 'I am awfully sorry we cannot get involved in that'", Mr Barton said.
Hamish Birchall, of the Musicians' Union, said there was no justification for requiring churches to have licences for music concerts.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is piloting the Licensing Bill through Parliament, said that churches and places of worship did not need a licence for entertainment being used for the purposes of a religious meeting or service. "Where a church, other place of worship or meeting hall stages a secular concert, in competition with other concert halls, they must obtain a licence."
The department says that the Bill will reduce "red tape" for industry — though local churches will clearly have to cope with more, having to get an entertainment licence for the first time.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 09:23 AM

Following the publication last week of the 'none in a bar' Licensing Bill, which also proposes the criminalisation of public carol singing without a licence, a music industry adviser at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, told MU officials that the music industry 'needs to focus on critical issues' and these 'need to be presented in a measured organised manner'.

He added: 'The goodwill of the Minister and indeed the Bill team has to be regained.'


From the director and team that brought you Schedule 1.............?


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:08 AM

Daily Telegraph

Churches must pay fees for fund-raising events
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 23/11/2002)

Cathedrals and churches face charges of thousands of pounds for staging concerts or even Nativity plays.
Church leaders fear that new legislation, introduced in last week's Queen's Speech, will prove so onerous that parishes will have to cancel vital fund-raising events.

Although the singing of hymns and carols is exempt, performances requiring an entertainment licence could include children's plays, a fete featuring a band or a disco in the community hall.

Events such as the annual Three Choirs festival in West Country cathedrals or classical concerts in Westminster Abbey could be hit by enormous bills.

Licences will be issued by town halls rather than magistrates under the proposals and could cost from hundreds of pounds a year to more than £15,000. At the moment, churches outside London are exempt from the need for a licence, while in London they are not required to pay.

Under the Government's proposed changes, churches used for more than five public performances a year will have to pay. Hard-up parishes may also have to pay for professional advice before making time-consuming applications.

The Ministry of Culture said the regulations were designed to ensure public safety, so there was no reason why churches or other places of worship should not be treated differently from secular venues.

Churches would be able to stage music or plays or show films if they were "for the purposes of, or incidental to, a religious meeting or service", but not otherwise. A Church spokesman said: "If these buildings are safe for public worship, surely they must be safe for public performances? Where is the evidence that the current system is failing?"

The Archbishops' Council, the Church of England's managing body, expressed alarm about the impact of the legislation, which is due to have its second reading in Parliament next week. In a letter to senior churchmen, it said: "If the new regulation is too onerous, it seems likely that parishes would either not obtain a licence, running the risk of prosecution, or would be deterred from hosting the event."

Canon Derek Stiff, the rector of Lavenham, Suffolk, said that his historic church cost £16,000 a week to run. This year the parish had organised 14 public events, including organ recitals and choral performances, each of which made less than £200. He said: "Audiences in this area have to be hard won and it will not be feasible to pass on fees in increased admission prices."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/11/23/nfund23.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/11/23/ixnewstop.html


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 02:17 PM

The DCMS state:
Where a church, other place of worship or meeting hall stages a secular concert, in competition with other concert halls, they must obtain a licence."

And:

The Ministry of Culture said the regulations were designed to ensure public safety, so there was no reason why churches or other places of worship should not be treated differently from secular venues.

Is there not something rather 'fishy' here? -

If the whole reason for the licence really is the public's safety, why the concern for a church concert being in competition with other concert halls?

When the same number of people in a service congregation, listening to possibly the very same music, will not require a licence?

When there is now supposed to be no fee charged and thus no deterrent to live music making?

And there are supposed to be no commercial considerations.

Perhaps your MP could explain? If you know your post code, you can ask them now.
http://www.faxyourmp.com/


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 02:20 PM

Tessa Jowell in the press release and at the launch of the Bill.

"In short this is a Bill for the public, a Bill for industry and a Bill for commonsense."


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Shifter
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 04:59 PM

The point I would like to make about this stupid piece of legislation is, is anyone seriously going to take any notice of it even if it comes in? Is it really going to kill live music? I personally doubt it, yes it might make it illegal but did prohibition in the USA stop anyone drinking? NO!!!


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:42 PM

Dancing Outbreak

The above link will give details of the effect on licensees when the public ignore the law in their pubs. The current law is effective and the proposed will be just as effective as the serious penalties are placed on the licensees or owners of the premises.

A £1,600 fine (or worse) is hard to ignore.

Your point is well made and it is a great pity that our Government has not heeded the point that US prohibition created more crime. Or that generally more laws just mean that more crimes will be committed.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 11:44 AM

These seasonal tidings of great joy, from Hamish Birchall.

Clause 188 of the Licensing Bill establishes that 'premises' means 'any place'.

The only carol singing exempt is that which is 'incidental' to a religious meeting or service (Shedule 1, para 9), or possibly carol singing in private that was not raising money for charity, or not 'for consideration and with a view to profit'. Otherwise carol singing is licensable by virtue of Schedule 1, para 1(1)(a), para 2(e), and para 2(2); and it meets the two necessary conditions in para 1(2)(a) or (b) or (c), and 1(2)(3).

In brief: carol singing, other than as part of a religious service, is a performance of live music in the presence of an audience or spectators; it takes place public or for a section of the public, or in private for charity, or in private for a paying audience; and the 'place' where the singing occurs is 'made available' for the purpose of enabling the singing (i.e. could be your front doorstep!).

Hamish Birchall
020 7267 7700


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 12:09 PM

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/james.lawton/schedulefrontpage.htm

The above link will inform you of how the Schedule 1 paras, listed above are worded.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 12:14 PM

From Clause 188

"premises" means any place and includes a vehicle, vessel or moveable structure;"


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 03:46 PM

TUESDAY 26TH NOVEMBER
*The Lord Archer of Sandwell—To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans for an alternative regime to encourage compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention if the 5th Review Conference fails to reach agreement on a monitoring protocol.

*The Lord Barnett—To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will clarify further the use to which the Private Finance Initiative can be put.

*The Lord Blaker—To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the five economic tests for entry into the euro include the exchange rate for sterling at which the United Kingdom would enter.

*The Baroness Seccombe—To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the future of the Dome.

Licensing Bill [HL]—Second Reading [The Baroness Blackstone]


In the event of the bill being read a second time, the Baroness Blackstone to move, That the bill be committed to a Committee of the Whole House.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 03:03 AM

http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/culture__media_and_sport.cfm

The Common's Select Committee.

Formal Remit:
"The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and its associated public bodies."


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 07:46 AM

Whaddya know, that fascist rag the Daily Express printed my letter (below)


Dear Sir
Licensing Reform

The effect of the proposed reform of licensing law on drinking behaviour is one thing. Its effect on music, and noise suffered by neighbours from pub music is quite another.

The proposed "reforms" will do nothing to help control amplified noise – from live bands, from discos, from juke-boxes, or from giant TVs whether they are showing football or playing music. Yet at the same time they will require full licensing for even one acoustic guitarist, (or morris dancing in the car-park). The government says that it does not accept that any type of music, even unamplified folk music, is never a noise or disturbance problem.

This is the politics of the madhouse. It proposes, in both respects, precisely the opposite of what is needed. Even if (as the government has admitted) it hates folk music, it is Alice through the Looking Glass for the Ministry of Culture to help stamp out our cultural heritage.

Even if the Prime Minister is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, surely he can see that it is next to useless to provide that the landlord's only remedy against a local authority imposing ridiculous conditions on the very licence that enables that landlord to earn a living is to start a court action.

Yours faithfully



Richard McD. Bridge


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 08:19 AM

Letter of the day, no less!

To continue the debate in the Express

Letters to the editor
Daily Express
245 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 9UX
FAX 020 7620 1643
Email:expressletters@express.co.uk



Letters must include address and telephone number.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Orac
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 08:39 AM

Is there nothing in Human Rights legislation in the EU to help? All we are doing here is keeping our musical cultural heritage alive. There seems no difference to me between 40 people in a religeous service to 40 at a folk club. The whole thing is madness.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 09:57 AM

In principle, yes. There are human rights in issue and Hamish Birchall has looked into it. In my view the government has the right to make restrictions (on human rights) that are necessary in a democratic society - but that restrictions on acoustic music are not "necessary" for that purpose in that social evils (noise, disturbance, safety hazard, moral hazard) are not sufficiently likely to arise therout for 100% licensing to be justified.

The government says it does not accept that even acoustic music is never noisy.

Others say that there are other measures to control noise from electric music so that too ought not to need 100% licensing (I violently disagree, since I live between two pubs, and suffer their music for my sins).

But I imagine (injunctive relief under EU law is not my expertise) that until there is a law made by Westminster which fails the test of necessity in a democratic society, there may not be a cause of action under these principles. If so we would have to wait until the law was passed and then take the government to court. I have tried that before on a very different issue. Be careful. They play very hard ball.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 04:06 PM

Can we get some letters off tonight fellers?


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 05:50 PM

A thought occurs to me. The Emperor Charlemagne attempted to stop the formation of guilds in the dities of his empire. These guilds were, roughly speaking, burial and insurance clubs which met for a meal at regular occasions, and observed certain religious festivals. They were the descendants of similar Roman groups, and the precursors not only of trade guilds, but also friendly societies and trades unions, with the Rotary and other such groups as well. What could he have had against societies for mutual help? It was the getting together for meals on private premises, at which matters other than burials and charitable donations might be discussed, such as opinions of the Emperor. They were subversive.

Might not the smooth manipulators of New Labour feel that folk clubs, or indeed, jazz clubs might be places where hairy and uncontrolled people with sympathies to Old Labour be getting together and plotting the downfall of T Blair and chums? Or singing rude songs about him? Like the ones sung in Rochester on Saturday, at a demo uniting Kent and Essex against the plans for a major airport on marshes in the Thames Estuary. Which probably infringed copyright, as well.

I'm afraid I'm growing into a conspiracy theorist.

Penny


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 05:53 PM

Just sent to my MP

To: Mr R. Marshall-Andrews QC, MP


From: Forge House
High Street
Lower Stoke
Rochester
Kent
ME3 9RD

Tel: 01634 27 10 20
Fax: 01634 27 27 21
Email McLaw@btinternet.com

29th November 2002


Dear Mr Marshall-Andrews
2-in-a-bar
I refer to the letter of the 30th May you received from the mendacious minister Mr Howells.

There is little in it to command much respect, and much in it to command derision.

At no time did I claim to represent the Musicians' Union, as Mr Howells implies. If Mr Howells had read the prior exchanges of mine with his so-called civil so-called servants, he should (I almost said "would" but that would have been expecting too much) have seen that everything I said was perfectly justified and in no way an over-reaction by a member of the electorate being given the run-around in slippery and sarcastic half-truths by unelected jacks-in-office.

With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight it can now be seen that the "rational and sensible" behaviour of the Musicians' Union produced absolutely no responsive reaction from the men from the ministry – who carried on churning out at best half-truths to you and to other MPs with the cynical objective of proceeding on their own course rather than dealing with the proper concerns of the public from whom the truth about government intentions had been concealed. I would point out that eventually even the patience of Job was tested, and the union was forced to correct a number of terminological inexactitudes from the minitser's department.

Remember: the government promised the reform of the "two-in-a-bar" rule – not a "none-in-a-bar rule. It lied. Remember the promises to the nation of the Mike Harding show (Radio 2). Already broken.

The basic plank of the minister's letter – that I referred to a "public entertainment licence" when that designation was no longer to exist – is the sort of feeble sophistry that the weakest university debater would scorn, and nowhere touches the substance or truth of the problem that the minister tries blindly to deny. One acoustic musician will be subject to the full rigours of the law of public entertainment licensing, and, worse, will expressly be subject to penalty along with the organiser.

The minister states that there would be no disincentive to applying for multiple licences. That could not honestly be said by any man of integrity, and I leave it to the minister to decide where he falls short. Each category of licence applied for will be subject to the "reasonable" (why does that word no longer make me laugh?) restrictions to be imposed by local authorities, so the application for multiple licences will bring multiple conditions and so multiply the on-costs of compliance.

The minister pretends that local authorities will be effectively prevented from imposing unreasonable conditions by the possibility that landlords might take them to court. He cannot be serious. We all know the kneejerk reaction of local authorities. Do you know the song "Jobsworth" by Jeremy Taylor? "Jobsworth, jobsworth, it's more than me jobsworth: I don't care, rain or snow, whatever you want the answer's NO!" Remember the local authority that had ALL local gravestones laid flat in case they might fall over and injure someone? I think it was East Sussex. That is the classic local authority way of dealing with safety and public order – to over-react to imagined issues. These are the authorities fining pubs because customers "sway rhythmically"! You cannot say that we dare not speak the name of local authority irrationality.

Local authority tendency to over-regulate is even implicitly admitted, for the bill tries to fence local authorities around. But the right for the landlord to sue the authority is an illusion – an illusion only rich men or those spending public money could fail to recognise as such. The landlord needs his licence. He needs it now, to earn his living. The local authority hypothetically (frankly, it is not so hypothetical in the real world) imposes a silly condition – a £20,000 new lavatory block, or three bouncers at over £90 per night (that's the going rate in the real world) for a folk club with a capacity of 20. The landlord can go without his licence (remember, this is the licence to sell his booze as well, because all the licences have been integrated), or give in and spend the money, or give in and not bother. If he wants to fight, the local authority has a bottomless purse to instruct learned and expensive counsel. And if it loses, who pays? The ratepayers (council tax payers if the minister still fancies being a pedant's pedant), not the jobsworths personally! But the landlord must hazard all he has to pay his lawyers, risk his house if he is mulcted in costs, and, until judgment, still not have a licence. Only a lawyer married to a lawyer could think this is anything other than a nightmare for the poor publican.

Perhaps the silliest evasion of the minster's is the argument that folk music cannot be defined, so an exemption for it cannot be drafted. First it can be defined – it's just that the definition (I can dig it out if you want it) is really only of academic and sociological use. Second, for a sensible exemption you don't have to define folk music. You don't even want to, because folk music could be electric. You only have to define what does not need regulating. That is easy. It is so simple even a minister could see it, if he were not blinded by hubris and the "not invented here" rule. It is acoustically produced music that does not need regulating. It is not the type of music that needs regulating, but the means of sound production, and that is a matter only of mechanics (or electro-magnetics) not musical taste and judgment. No-one has produced a single case of disturbance or noise breakout nuisance from acoustic music. In the real world hypothetical arguments about the intensity of sound at the bell of a trumpet are irrelevant. How often do you hear excessive noise in pubs from acoustic instruments? In practice 100% of noise nuisance from sound breakout is caused by electrical amplification. If extraordinary circumstances do arise, the existing law permits the control of noise nuisance – so long as the necessary resources are not otherwise eaten up, as they are to day, which they would not be under the proposed new law.

The minister says that the exemption I proposed would not work. Extraordinarily, even for him, he gives no reason. You as a lawyer will have noticed that.

Foolishly, the minister repeats the exemplification of his illogicality. He says that one musician with an amplifier can make more sound than three without. But that does not compel the restriction of the three. It makes a case only for the restriction of the amplifier, and to say otherwise is folly.

To rub salt in the wound the minister brags to you that the bars in the houses of Parliament will remain free from licensing restrictions. We the people resent being told that what the ministers enjoy is too good for us. Please sing him a folk-song some time. At least he has admitted hating them.

You will be pleased to hear that I am almost done. But I must also pass on one or two remarks about the reply of Claire Vickers (ref 02/17246) dated the 19th November 2002 to another folk musician. It repeats most of the idiocies I expose above but adds some of its own (or culled from intervening development of the government's wholly unjustifiable position).

It tries to hide behind the suggestion that not-for-profit music will not be affected. This is another illusion, and a silly and transparent one too. Pubs permit music in their bars because they expect more customers and to sell more drinks. So even if singers are not paid, all music in pubs is with a view to profit. Also, so what? What is less worthy about music for profit, than music not for profit? It is the music that a ministry of Culture should be trying to preserve.

It openly says that the government does not accept that acoustic music is never noisy. Only the most retentive control freak could run that one. In the real world no-one has produced one single instance of noise breakout, public disturbance, or safety problem associated with unamplified music. Not one. That's close enough to "never" for the rest of the world and if the government does not accept it is they who look stupid.

I appreciate you are busy with Cliffe Airport. I am wholly against that airport too (as you know), and I was the folk singer at Saturday's Rochester rally. Please support folk music now. You never know when you might need a folk singer again.

Yours sincerely



Richard McD. Bridge


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:37 PM

This from Hamish Birchall.

The 'none in a bar' Licensing Bill receives its second reading tomorrow (26th)

Last Tuesday (19th) Lord Colwyn, member of the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group, fired the first shot for live music:

Lord Colwyn:

"...Finally, turning to a different subject and declaring my interest as co-chairman of the All-Party Jazz Appreciation Group, I urge the Government to re-examine the Licensing Bill in relation to public entertainment.

I am not allowed to speak twice, so I have to mention it this afternoon. Successive governments and Ministers have agreed that current licensing for musicians performing in public is seriously flawed. It seems that the current Bill will change the "two in a bar" rule to "none in a bar". That would be a disaster for thousands of British musicians, particularly young musicians, who have few venues in which to perform.

"It cannot be right that broadcast entertainment that can attract significant crowds and cause noise nuisance is exempt, while one unamplified performer will be illegal, unless licensed. I hope that the Government will amend the Bill to pull it back from the regulatory musical abyss that it is in at present. "


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:43 PM

If, like many of us, you fear for the future of live music then FAX your thoughts to the Prime Minister at his office FAX No 020 79250918

After all he is a musician. Keep it simple - I sent the message below

Dear Mr Blair

I appeal to you, as a fellow guitar player, to take immediate action to ensure that the new proposed licensing laws do not prevent the participating in, enjoyment of and promotion of 'Live Music' in pubs and clubs. It seems set to kill our musical heritage.


Now may be a good time to try out the fax software that should have come with your modem - if you've not tried it before - type the message on your Word Processor thhen go to 'File' 'Print' (don't use the icon on the tool bar) then look at the printer at the top of the dialogue box - it will show your default printer - select the arrow to the right and it will show other printers that you are configured for - one of these should be the fax printer that came with your modem - select it and print - ensuring that you
are disconnected from the internet.

I should have added - if you use any other groups (music genres) - I don't - please pass this on

Regards
Graham Dixon


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 07:41 PM

If you have the time, you can watch the Second Reading of the Licensing Bill live from the House of Lords.........

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/schedularhelp.asp


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Nov 02 - 05:53 AM

Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport.
Contact Details
http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/culture__media_and_sport/c

7 Millbank London SW1P 3JA

Tel 020 7219 6188 or 020 7219 5739

Email cmscom@parliament.uk


FAX 020 7219 2031

Clerk                   Fergus Reid       Tel: 020 7219 6120
Second Clerk             Nerys Welfoot    Tel: 020 7219 6924
Second Clerk             Olivia Davidson   Tel: 020 7219 6924
Committee Assistant      Anita Fuki       Tel: 020 7219 5739
Committee Secretary      Fiona Mearns      Tel: 020 7219 6188


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 04:57 AM

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