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About 15 years ago the Public Carriage Office issued guidelines for those who wanted to fit speakers in the rear of their Taxi, one of the stipulations was that the taxi needed to be fitted with a volume control in the rear so that the passengers could control the volume of the music coming through the speakers. There was only one company who produced a rather crude volume switch that could be fitted in the rear to control the volume, the switch was rather clunky in operation and only a couple of Taxis were ever fitted with one.

The other stipulation was that the owner of the Taxi obtained a performing rights society license, this was because as a Taxi we convey the public and therefore any music played to the passengers in the back was considered a public broadcast, to my knowledge these regulations still stand today for Taxis but I have not seen a taxi displaying a PRS license for quite a number of years.

Now we get to private Hire, all modern cars are fitted with speakers in both the front and the rear, also as there is no partition in a PH vehicle the passengers can hear the music emanating from any of the vehicles speakers, now although they are called Private Hire the people they convey are also the public, ie. they are not known by the driver so they are strangers to him, now surely when music is played through the cars speakers this also can be considered a public broadcast which would mean that every PH vehicle should in theory require a PRS license, so why did the PCO not include this as a requirement of licensing for PH vehicles? It’s just another indication that PH licensing is a very flimsy form of regulation purely designed to give the travelling public a false sense of security.

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