Don’t use illegal backing tracks!

Thanks to Billy who asked a question about backing track licencing:

Hello Kenny,

As you know all acts now have to have reciepts for there tracks and must be from a reputable source, will these tracks be ok?

We have to have a £250 licence now, pro sub or something.

I have loads of karaoke tracks but they have to be accounted for.

Can you help?

Cheers mate


Hi Billy

The tracks you buy from us have had all the full royalties paid on them (we pay royalties directly to the MCPS) so you can use them for your own personal use. Personal use means that you cannot sell, distribute or make derivitive works from them (i.e you can’t sell, share or swap them with anyone else – only you can use them) but you can use them at your own gigs to sing.

There is another licence required to play live music or pre-recorded music in a venue but you don’t need to worry about it – that particular music licence is required by the venue, not you the act.

If you use karaoke tracks at your gig then you must first obtain permission from the karaoke company you bought them from.

The venue must also hold the relevant licence for karaoke performance.

Any backing tracks or karaoke tracks that have not been purchased by you personally are illegal for you to use. If the MCPS/PRS do a spot check, you can be prosecuted for using illegal copyrighted music and the venue could have their music licence revoked, so it is a serious issue.

If you are a professional entertainer and only use professional backing tracks bought from a licenced backing track supplier (like us, MP3 Backing Trax), you have nothing to worry about.

In the event of a spot check by the MCPS/PRS you can simply show them your receipts from us to prove that you bought all the backing tracks legally from us and that all rightful royalties were paid by us, MP3 Backing Trax, at the point of sale.