Reader Neil writes: “Can you tell me what licences I need for DJing, is it just a ProDub licence? I am also looking into what licences I need to have to publish my podcasts on iTunes legally. Any help would be much appreciated as it’s all pretty confusing.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
For our non-UK readers, a “ProDub” licence is a fantastic wheeze dreamed up by (I believe) the PRS, who also license clubs and bars etc (along with the PPL) so they can legally play music in their venues. It allows a DJ to transfer music from one format to another. Yes, you read that right: It gives you the right to take a CD you’ve bought, and instead of DJing directly from that CD, to put the music on your computer (for instance) and play it from there instead.
Sounds like a dubious thing to need a licence for? Does to me too. It’s basically a “digital DJ” tax, and to me, the most dubious licence in the history of licences. (I am absolutely no lawyer, but I’ve never heard of anyone being prosecuted for this. Prove me wrong if you have, I’d love to know about it.)
Bottom line is: Practically, as far as I believe, as long as the premises you’re performing in has the appropriate licences, you don’t really need anything else to DJ there, no matter what you’re told and what gear you’re using. Again, I’m no lawyer, but I’ve a wealth of experience, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who owns the “ProDub” licence in the UK – although I have heard that it is a bit of a “badge of honour” among mobile DJs in certain competitive areas. Make your own mind up on this one.
As far as iTunes go, at some point I believe they’ll crack down on podcasts that feature copyrighted material, of which there are many, and to legally upload yours, you’d need permission from all the copyright owners of all the tunes you’re playing. Best off, in my view, sticking to Mixcloud if you’re worried – although many, many people use iTunes in this technically illegal way right here, right now.
What’s the DJ licensing situation in your country? Have you ever been warned or prosecuted for not having the correct licence? Let us know in the comments!