Covid-19 IMRO Customer Update
IMRO fully appreciates the very significant challenges and uncertainty that you, our valued customers have endured and still experience. Whether you have closed your business or whether you are able to continue to deliver your service, we understand that the economic and financial landscape has completely changed since March 2020 and it is likely we will have to operate with significant business restrictions for the foreseeable future. We want to assure you that we are continuing to work hard to support you as much as we possibly can at this time of unprecedented uncertainty. At the beginning of this pandemic, IMRO put in place several measures designed to reduce the financial burden on you and your businesses. We have communicated directly with a broad range of our customers 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 so we can all come through this extraordinarily difficult period for Irish business and society.
My business is closed due to COVID-19 – will IMRO support me in terms of payments due?
Any business that has been subject to a government enforced closure due to COVID-19 and remains closed will not have to make any payment to IMRO until after your business reopens. Any update on this position will be communicated to industry representative bodies and published on the IMRO website and on our social media platforms.
If you remain closed and want to continue to make payments during this period or have any specific questions about your account, please contact our Customer First Team at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 01-6448027.
Any business which has voluntarily closed due to COVID-19 and remains closed 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 at 01-6448027 and they will arrange a payment deferral until after you have re-opened.
While acutely aware of the continuing uncertainty facing Irish businesses, IMRO has recommenced collection activity for customers that have re-opened or for those who have stayed open during the pandemic crisis. If you are in that position, we are asking you to resume payments on your account if you have an outstanding balance. If your business is open and you have an IMRO direct debit in place, we will resume this if we haven’t already done so. The credit control team is not currently seeking payment from customers that remain closed.
If you receive an invoice and are closed, please ignore the invoice until after you have re-opened.
IMRO request that you do not cancel your direct debit and opt for the direct debit deferral to reduce the administration burden on your business and IMRO when your business re-opens.
Will I receive a credit note from IMRO if my business has been closed?
IMRO understands that customers do not use music while their premises are closed and is committed to offering customers the following invoice and credit note support:
- Any business that has been subject to a government enforced closure due to COVID-19 will be entitled to a credit note for the period from the date of closure towhen you re-open.
- Any business that has voluntarily closeddue to COVID-19 will be entitled to a credit note for the period from the date of closure to the date you re-open. If you have closed your business voluntarily, you will need to complete the COVID-19 closure declaration form to claim your credit note.
Please note that credit notes are only available to customers whose premises which have closed due to COVID-19.
What do I do if there has been a change in my business that I think might affect my IMRO and PPI invoice?
IMRO will issue credit notes to you if your music usage, capacity or any other input to your annual charge has changed. If your music usage has changed, please confirm the specific details of your music usage that have changed on the Customer Portal or contact our Customer First Team and we will make any necessary adjustments to your account and issue a credit note if required.
Any invoices generated on your account will be for your pre-COVID-19 level of music usage and we urge you to contact us if your usage has changed and we will process any required credit notes so your account will reflect the new music usage.
IMRO will initially process information provided by you up until 31 December 2020 and we will review the situation again in Q1 2021 based on your specific business circumstances at that time.
IMRO will only ever charge you for actual music usage based on the information you provide in accordance with our published tariffs and we urge you to review your invoices in detail and contact our Customer First Team by e-mail at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 01-6448027 if you have any questions.
My business re-opened but has closed again – how will IMRO support me?
If you re-open your business but are subject to subsequent COVID-19 related closures, you are entitled to claim a credit note for any periods of closure. You will be required to complete the COVID-19 closure declaration form for each closure period to claim your credit note.
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 due to COVID-19 to claim a credit note. The declaration can also be made to the IMRO Customer First Team directly.
The online form is now available on the IMRO Self-Service Licensing Portal (https://licensing.imro.ie/). You are required to submit the date your business closed and the date your business re-opened on this declaration form. The information declared by you will be used by IMRO to process your closure credit note.
What is the IMRO Self-Service Licensing Portal?
The IMRO Self-Service Licensing Portal is an online facility that allows customers to view their accounts, invoices and statements and can be accessed at https://licensing.imro.ie/. It is also the easiest and fastest way for you to claim your credit note. All you have to do is go online and set-up your customer account.
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 Self-Service Licensing Portal, please contact our Customer First Team at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 01-6448027.
When will my credit note be issued?
Your credit note will be issued after your business has re-opened and you have declared your closing and re-opening dates. 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 Self-Service Licensing 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 Self-Service Licensing Portal.
My account is due to renew from April 2020 – January 2021. Will I receive my invoices as normal?
IMRO will not send invoices to customers that are closed until after your businesses re-open. Invoices will be issued sector by sector so businesses who choose not to re-open until after the date allowed by government may receive invoices before they have re-opened. If this happens, please contact our Customer First Team and they will gladly help you.
If you wish to receive your invoices as normal, please contact us by e-mail at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 01-6448027.
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 01-6448027 to confirm if you want to receive a refund or if you want the credit amount offset against your next renewal invoice.
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 believe that your music usage or business operations have changed and that might result in a change to your invoice, please provide your specific question and the specific information that has changed on the IMRO Self-Service Licensing Portal or contact our Customer First Team by e-mail at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 01-6448027.
How can I support the music industry?
Like many IMRO customers, musicians, songwriters and composers have experienced severe financial distress during the current pandemic, with many having little or no income since March 2020. If you would like to support musicians, songwriters and composers through these challenging times, you can now also opt to not claim your IMRO COVID-19 credit note, details on how to do this are on the declaration section of the IMRO Self-Service Portal. IMRO will ensure your contribution is distributed to the music creators that we represent who really appreciate your support in these difficult times. Please contact our Customer First Team by e-mail at ei.ormi@tsrifremotsuc or by phone at 01-6448027 if you have any questions.
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 phone at 01-6448027.
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.