The Information Services Department has many enquiries on a variety of topics and in this issue of Master Builder, we would like to give you some tips and key facts on three important subjects.
Playing music at work
Music plays an important role in one’s life whether at home or at the work place. The construction industry is well known for using music at work. Can you imagine a building site without a radio?
Recently, some FMB members have been contacted by the Performing Rights Society (PRS) who are increasing their efforts to ensure that companies purchase a licence from them, if they play music at work. They are writing to inform shops, hairdressers, cafes, building sites and businesses who use telephone “on-hold” systems that they are breaking UK copyright laws by playing music without a licence.
If you play music in your business to your employees or customers a PRS Music Licence is legally required.
If you play music at work then you must purchase a licence from the Performing Rights Society.
By law, under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, if you use music in public (that is, outside of the home), you require the permission of every writer or composer of the music you intend to play.
If you play music within your business whether it is for the benefit of your customers or staff, it is classed as a public performance. This includes having the radio on in the workplace for the benefit of your staff, visitors or customers.
A PRS music licence allows you to use music lawfully in your premises either live or by any recorded means.
What happens if I don’t purchase a PRS Music Licence?
If you fail or refuse to obtain a PRS music licence you may face legal action for copyright infringement and may become liable to pay damages and costs.
How much will the licence cost?
The cost can depend on various factors including:
- The type and size of premises
- The number of employees to whom the music is audible
- The nature and extent to which music is used.
The Performing rights Society produces a price guide for offices and factories and can be accessed from www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk
Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
Did you know that under the above Act, a claim can be pursued against you for up to six years following completion of a contract, providing it can be shown that the problem was due to the work not being carried out properly and/or the goods or materials used were not of satisfactory quality? The following sets out some guidance:
What redress is a client entitled to if a problem arises with the work that has been carried out?
Generally a repair or replacement of any faulty goods or materials would be appropriate.
What can a client do if the supplier won’t take action about any complaint?
If necessary they can pursue a claim through the Small Claims Court (up to £5,000) without the need for a solicitor.
What can a client claim in court?
The cost of putting right any work that has not been carried out properly, and replacing any defective goods and/or materials. They might also be able to claim consequential costs incurred as a direct result of the poor work or defective goods.
It is two to three years since the work was carried out, how can a client show that the problem was due to the supplier’s poor work and/or to faulty goods or materials?
They will need supporting evidence since it is up to them to prove the case ‘on the balance of probabilities’. They may also need to provide an ‘expert’ report to use in any court case.
The supplier alleges that the goods used in carrying out the service were at fault and therefore the client needs to pursue redress with the manufacturer.
Incorrect. The contract is with the supplier and he is responsible if the goods he provides are faulty.
The supplier says that a term of the contract signed excludes his statutory obligations a year after the completion of the work.
Such a contract term is not binding. A consumer’s rights in relation to goods and materials supplied cannot be excluded. Any contract term that purports to restrict or exclude a consumer’s rights in relation to the supply of a service must not be unreasonable or unfair. An unreasonable or unfair term of this kind would not be binding on the consumer but ultimately this is something that only the courts can decide.
What if a supplier has given a guarantee?
Any guarantee or warranty given by the supplier will usually constitute a bonus to the consumer’s rights under the Supply of Goods and Services Act. Its terms will set out exactly what is being offered.
The guarantee has expired and the supplier therefore has no obligation to deal with the problem.
Incorrect. A guarantee cannot exonerate the supplier from his statutory obligations and so the fact that one has been given and has expired is irrelevant to his obligations to the consumer.
Where can I get further help to obtain redress?
Contact Consumer Direct at (Tel: 08454 04 05 06).
Consumers in Northern Ireland should contact Consumer line on Tel: 0845 600 6262.
Changes to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCS)
The Government has recently announced the following changes to the provision of EPCs:
Commercial properties that are on the market before 1st October 2008, and which remain on the market, will not now need an EPC until 4th January 2009. If the property is sold or rented in the meantime an EPC must be commissioned and handed over as soon as possible.
The validity period of EPCs for homes, when marketed for sale, will increase from one year to three years.
<%$Linker: Asset 1 3642 0 oLinkAssetPdf FMB Information sheet 1/08/06 (Download , PDF 75 KB) Energy Performance Certificates Information sheet /EasySiteWeb/GatewayLink.aspx?alId=3642 true%> on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) has been updated to include these changes.
Please contact the FMB Information Department for further information on any of these issues.
Tel: 0870 162 0947