The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57941   Message #915923
Posted By: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
22-Mar-03 - 06:53 AM
Thread Name: Music Police raid Sloop, Barton Lincs
Subject: RE: Music Police raid Sloop, Barton Lincs
'Impromptu' is not the test

Like much else in the DCMS leaflets, their comment about the case law from 1899 is misleading. The law report in question (Brearley v Morley, 1899, 2 QB 121]makes it quite clear that the performances were not impromptu. They were planned, taking place 'on Saturdays, and sometimes on Fridays'. The initial prosecution was undertaken in the knowledge that the 'performers' were unpaid. The test at that time was not simply whether performers were paid; it was also whether the landlord 'provided' the entertainment. The reason the conviction was quashed on appeal was that the landlord was found NOT to have provided the entertainment. He merely allowed customers to use a piano in a bar for their own amusement.

It is also worth pointing out that the Government's Licensing Bill for the first time makes the provision of a piano for public use a criminal offence, unless licensed.

Hamish Birchall
Musicians' Union adviser - PEL reform