Covid-19 IMRO Customer Update

IMRO fully appreciates the very significant challenges that you, our customers are currently experiencing. Whether you have closed your business or whether you are in a position to continue to deliver your service, we understand that the economic and financial landscape has completely changed over the last few weeks and is likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. We want to assure you that we are working hard to support you as much as we possibly can at this time of unprecedented uncertainty. We have put in place a number of measures designed to reduce the financial burden you and your businesses are currently experiencing. We have already communicated directly with many of you and based on that communication, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions below that we hope will help you understand the measures we have put in place and how they will operate.

Of course, if your question is not covered here, our Customer First team will be delighted to deal with your questions by e-mail or over the phone and they can be contacted using the details below. We will do our best to work with you as much as we possibly can through this extraordinarily difficult period for Irish business and Irish society.

COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS | IMRO CUSTOMERS

Q.1 My business is closed due to Covid-19. Will IMRO support me in terms of payments due to IMRO?

Any business that has been subject to a government enforced closure due to Covid-19 will not have to make any payment to IMRO until after 30 April 2020 at the earliest. IMRO Has committed to a payment moratorium on all payments due to IMRO in April 2020 from business that have been subject to a government enforced closure. This will be reviewed again before the end of April and a decision on May payments will be taken considering the circumstances at that time. An update on the May position will be communicated to industry representative bodies and published on the IMRO website and on our social media platforms.

If you want to continue to make payments during this period, please contact our Customer First Team at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or 1800 66 10 10.

Any business which has voluntarily closed due to Covid-19 can contact IMRO directly for support with Direct Debit or Standing Order payments due to IMRO. Please contact our Customer First Team at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or 1800 66 10 10 and our team will arrange a payment holiday until 30 April 2020. This will be reviewed again before the end of April and a decision on May payments will be taken considering the circumstances at that time. An update on the May position will be communicated to industry representative bodies and published on the IMRO website and on our social media platforms.

Our credit control team is not currently seeking payment from customers that are not in paying by Direct Debit or Standing Order and therefore if you do not pay IMRO by either of these means, you do not have to contact IMRO regarding payment.

IMRO would request that you do not cancel your direct debit and opt for the direct debit moratorium to reduce the administration burden on your business and IMRO when normal business resumes.


Q.2 Will I receive a credit note from IMRO if my business has been closed?

IMRO understands that customers are not using music while they’re premises are closed and wants to work with customers as much as possible during this period. IMRO has committed to offering customers the following support in relation to invoices and credit notes:

  • Any business that has been subject to a government enforced closure due to Covid-19 will receive a credit note from the date of closure up to 30 April 2020 or until the date the enclosure order is lifted, should that be earlier than 30 April 2020. The position will be reviewed again towards the end of April when a decision on May will be made considering circumstances at that time.
  • Any business that has voluntarily closed due to Covid-19 will receive a credit note from the date of closure up to 30 April 2020 or until the date the enclosure order is lifted, should that be earlier than 30 April 2020. The position will be reviewed again towards the end of April when a decision on May will be made considering circumstances at that time.

If you have closed your business voluntarily, you will need to complete the Covid 19 closure declaration form to claim your credit note.

Credit notes are only available to customers whose premises which have closed due to Covid-19.


Q.3 What is the Covid 19 closure declaration form?

The Covid 19 closure declaration form is an online form that will need to be completed by businesses that have closed voluntarily due to Covid 19 to claim a credit note.  This form is not yet available and will only be available to customers on the IMRO customer portal (https://licensing.imro.ie/) once the government enforced closures are lifted.  You will be required to submit the date your business closed and the date your business re-opened on this declaration form.

IMRO will notify industry representative bodies and update the IMRO website and social media platforms when this form is available.


Q4. What is the IMRO Customer Portal?

The IMRO Customer Portal is an online facility that allows customers to view their accounts, invoices and statements and can be accessed at https://licensing.imro.ie/.  The most efficient way for you to receive your credit note is to have a customer account set up on the IMRO Customer Portal. 

We strongly recommend, to avoid delays in getting your credit note, that you register your account on the customer portal as soon as possible.

To register on the IMRO customer Portal, please contact our customer first team at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or 1800 66 10 10.


Q5. When will my credit note be issued?

Your credit note will be issued after the government enforced closure orders have been lifted.  There will be some processing time required by IMRO considering the large volume of credit notes that will have to be processed.  We request that after you have submitted your Covid 19 closure declaration form that you are patient as we process all the credit notes.

We again want to stress the importance of registering your account on the IMRO Customer Portal so you can get your credit note as easily and quickly as possible. See Question 4 above for details on registering your account on the IMRO Customer Portal.


Q6. My account is due to renew in April or May. Will I receive my invoices as normal?

IMRO will not send any invoices to premises that are closed until after the government enforced closure orders have been lifted.

If you wish to receive your invoices as normal, please contact us by e-mail at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 1800 66 10 10.


Q7. I have already paid my account in full – Am I entitled to a refund?

If you qualify for a credit note, as outlined in a previous answer above, then a credit note will be issued to you at the same time as all credit notes are issued.  At that time, you can contact the Customer First team by e-mail at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 1800 66 10 10 to confirm if you want to receive a refund or if you want the credit amount offset against your next renewal invoice.


Q8. My business is still open, but I have less customers now due to Covid-19, can I get a credit note on my account?
Credit notes are only available to customers whose premises have closed due to Covid-19.


If you have any questions regarding your account that are not covered by the questions above, do not hesitate to contact IMRO’s Customer First Team who will be happy to help you.  The team can be contacted by e-mail at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by telephone at 1800 66 10 10.

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Who are IMRO?

IMRO is a registered licensing body under the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (‘the Act) whose function is the collection and distribution of royalties arising from the public performance of copyright musical works within its control. IMRO began operating in 1989, and at present has approximately 11,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, 25,000 licensees and through its agreements with sister societies around the world represents in Ireland the copyright owners of over 14 million copyright musical works.

Is it a legal requirement to hold an IMRO Dual Music Licence?

Yes. If a music user, be it a radio station, a concert promoter, a shop, an employer, or any business premises, wishes to have copyright music made available (Sec 40 (1) of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000) to the public (‘public’ being defined in case law as anywhere outside the domestic environment), the user must obtain the permission of the copyright owner (Sec 37 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000) for such public use. IMRO, as a licensing body under the Act, is in a position to grant permission in respect of the worldwide repertoire of copyright music within its control, this repertoire covering the overwhelming majority of copyright music.

What is Copyright Music?

A piece of music is the intellectual property of its composer or author. Under the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 that composer or author has the exclusive right as the owner of the work to allow the use of that work by others. When you use their music in your business or workplace, this qualifies as a public performance of copyright music under the Act and you need the owners permission to do so. IMRO can give you that permission.

What is meant by “public performance”?

A public performance of copyright music takes place when that music is used anywhere outside of the domestic environment.

Where does the money collected by IMRO go to?

After a deduction for cost (approximately 18%), all royalties collected are paid directly to songwriters, composers and publishers who created the music that you are using in your business.

Do I need a licence? All I use is a TV / radio!

Yes you do. All TV and radio broadcasts contain copyright music, hence an IMRO Dual Music Licence is required.. Holding an IMRO Dual Music Licence is a legal requirement if you are using IMRO controlled copyright music in any business or workplace in the Republic of Ireland, including the use of music via TV’s, radios, music systems, PC’s, music in presentations, music on hold, live music, discos, karaoke, etc.

Why do I need an IMRO Dual Music Licence if I already pay my TV licence?

A TV licence is a certificate that states that you have paid the appropriate fee to the government and contributed to the cost of public service broadcasting in Ireland. A TV licence does not cover you for the public performance of copyright music via your TV.

We’re only a small business, does this apply to us?

Having an IMRO Dual Music Licence is a legal requirement for all music users, large and small. IMRO and PPI tariffs are set to take into account different sized businesses and different uses of music within those businesses.

Do I need any other licence?

No. The Dual Music Licence is a licence contract which covers both IMRO and PPI music copyrights.

Under law, two distinct permissions are required by businesses in Ireland who play music – one which covers the public performance of the musical work on behalf of composers, songwriters and music publishers and the other which covers the public performance of sound recordings on behalf of record producers and performers. To date these licences have been administered separately by IMRO and PPI respectively. However, as of January 1st 2016, both distinct licences are now included in the Dual Music Licence which is administered by IMRO.

How much does a Dual Music Licence cost?

The cost of obtaining an IMRO Dual Music Licence varies from premises to premises. Click HERE to see the various premises types and relevant tariffs.

Do IMRO and PPI tariffs change from year to year?

Yes, all of our charges are linked to movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

It’s only staff that listen to the radio / watch TV in the workplace, the general public don’t have access to the business premises so why do I still have to pay for an IMRO Dual Music Licence?

It is irrelevant who in your organisation has access to copyright music via the TV/radio. What is relevant is that the use of music in the workplace is in public and is considered a public performance of the copyright work, because the performance / music use is taking place outside of the domestic environment.

Do I need a licence if I only watch / listen to the news?

Yes you do. An IMRO Dual Music Licence is required if you use a TV or radio in public, even if you only listen to a news channel such as Sky News or BBC News. Copyright music is used during such programming, be it in the introduction/theme music to the news program, within the news program itself or be it in the advertisements broadcast on the TV or radio channel.

We hardly ever turn on the TV / radio, do I still need a licence?

Yes. IMRO and PPI charge on an annual basis for the use of music within their control. Taking out an IMRO Dual Music Licence gives you the legal right to use as much or as little music in a year as you wish.

Do I need an IMRO licence to play classical & traditional music?

In a lot of instances, yes. Music in the classical and traditional genres are often within copyright and would require permission from the copyright holder for any public performance. Copyright in musical works remains in place for 70 years after the composer’s death.

Is it possible to take out a licence for just a few months?

No. IMRO/PPI charges on an annual basis for the use of music within its control.

I use my PC to listen to music. Do I need a licence for that?

An IMRO Dual Music Licence is required for the public use of any copyright music by any mechanical means. This includes the use of music via a PC or, via access to music streaming on the internet e.g. on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and Soundcloud, etc.

The staff bring in their own radio, it doesn’t belong to the company.

Under Sec 37 (2) of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 ‘the copyright in a work is infringed by a person who without the licence of the copyright owner undertakes, or authorises another to undertake’, the public performance of the work. Therefore in effect by allowing staff use their own radio in the workplace, you are, as their employer, authorising the use of music on your premises and you must hold an IMRO Dual Music Licence to allow you and them to do so.

The business next door has a radio, and they don’t have a licence. Why should I get one?

IMRO monitors the use of its repertoire in public. An IMRO Dual Music Licence gives a music user the right to play virtually any piece of copyright music within their business.

Under law, two distinct permissions are required by businesses in Ireland who play music – one which covers the public performance of the musical work on behalf of composers, songwriters and music publishers and the other which covers the public performance of sound recordings on behalf of record producers and performers. To date these licences have been administered separately by IMRO and PPI respectively. However, as of January 1st 2016, both distinct licences are now included in a Dual Music Licence administered by IMRO.

I want to use music in my business, but I refuse to take out a licence. What can IMRO do to stop me?

It is an offence under Sec 140 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 to infringe copyright by broadcasting, playing or performing copyright music in public without a licence to do so. The penalty on conviction is a maximum fine of €127,000 and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

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