The Rocksalt Bar and Restaurant in Kerikeri has paid a $18,000 price for ignoring APRA's requests to pay appropriate licence fees for the music it played.

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) is a royalty collection organisation, that collects royalties on behalf of copyright owners when their musical works are performed in NZ. In the ordinary course of events, businesses like bars and restaurants play a licence fee to APRA, in order to be able to play music in their venues.

Despite numerous requests by APRA, Rocksalt failed to obtain a licence, but continued to play music. Playing this music without a licence from the copyright owner is copyright infringement.

Accordingly, APRA has obtained a High Court judgment against Rocksalt. It has been ordered to pay $4,600 in missed licence fees, and $18,000 in penalty for its flagrant infringement in failing to respond to APRA's repeated requests that it take a licence. It will also need to pay some of APRA's costs in taking the case.

As the judge said, Rocksalt (or any other business in a similar position) would do better to pay the licence fee next time.