Following a Crown Court ruling today, musicians who stop work could be committing a criminal offence. In a statement read outside Barking Crown Court, Samuel Lyre of Lyre & Snare, solicitors for the royalties collection agency PRS Music Ltd, said, ‘despite intense efforts of legislators, copyright infringement has been a growing problem. In particular, our client found that John Cage’s work was frequently being ripped off, with neither due credit nor payment of royalties.
‘My client’s victory in this case is significant in preventing wholesale theft and bringing criminals to book.’
In earlier cases led by Messrs Lyre & Snare a man who was listening to pirated music off the web was served an injunction forbidding him to stop, and an Environmental Health Officer in Essex was successful in using the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act to prosecute a builder who persistently annoyed neighbours by habitually switching his radio off after work.
The development coincides with the Home Office announcing the UK’s highest ever success rate in crime detection, while the Department for Work and Pensions reported a ‘temporary’ rise in unemployment due to musicians being forced to seek work.
Spawn of Sydalg, with hat tip to A. L. Shaw