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Police nix music to avoid fees

TROWBRIDGE, England, April 16 (UPI) -- Police officials in England's Wiltshire County said officers have been banned from listening to music at work to avoid having to pay license fees.

Officials said they took the move of banning music played publicly from radios, Web sites, TVs and MP3 players after the Performing Rights Society for Music demanded the police force pay a $34,000 license fee, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

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The PRS told police bosses that the license fee is required for all uses of music in police stations, offices, gyms and other communal areas.

The Wiltshire Police announcement said "playing of music by any means across the force" would "cease forthwith." It said the music ban was designed "to avoid being liable to charges."

"I know that many of you will feel that this is a ridiculous situation. I agree," Wiltshire Chief Constable Brian Moore said in a letter to officers. "However, chief officers and I fundamentally object to paying a license fee to PRS for Music to cover Wiltshire Police premises."

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