U.K. music licensing organization PPL has failed to overturn the July 2009 Copyright Tribunal ruling on three of its public performance tariffs.

High Court judge Mr Justice Arnold today (Feb. 12) issued his judgment on PPL's appeal, stating that the original ruling is valid.

The long-running case ended up at the Copyright Tribunal following a government referral, after the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Hospitality Association challenged the new rates from neighboring rights society PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd), which were introduced in 2005.

PPL had proposed a new graduated tariff where larger establishments paid significantly more than smaller ones. But the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Hospitality Association protested at the revised rates.

The Copyright Tribunal rejected PPL's new rates in July 2009 and published the ruling in October 2009. The rates paid to PPL, on behalf of performers and record labels, cover the right to play music on TVs and radios in public in the hospitality sector (pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops) and offices and factories.

"On the appeal, the judge was limited to considering whether the Copyright Tribunal had erred in law, not whether the decision was one he would have made based on the evidence," said a PPL spokesperson in a statement. "Naturally the company is extremely disappointed that the Judge found there was no error of law although he identified some problems with the decision of the Tribunal. This leaves PPL with tariffs that it believes substantially undervalue the rights of its performer and record company members."

The pub and hospitality trade bodies estimated the their sectors will save £5 million ($7.8 million) a year following their victory, in addition to the millions now owed in refunds.

Although licensing fees for offices and factories were not part of the trade bodies' case against PPL, the Copyright Tribunal included that license in its ruling and amended the rate.