Performing rights society PRS for Music and neighboring rights society PPL will develop a pilot joint licensing scheme for charities a not-for-profit organizations in the U.K., after the government announced a shake-up of the music licensing rules covering this sector.

Following a consultation, the government has announced the removal of the music licensing exemptions to bring charity and not-for-profit organizations (known as the Third Sector after government and for-profit organizations) into line with Europe.

The move gives performers and record companies the same rights as songwriters in the U.K. in terms of receiving income from this sector. It will take effect on April 1, 2010.

The pilot joint licensing scheme will be worked out between PPL, PRS for Music and the umbrella charity bodies represented by Community Sector Law Monitoring Group. PPL will consult with the charity and not-for-profit sector ahead of the changes, to gather information on how charities use music to boost fundraising, enhance the atmosphere of community buildings and motivate staff and volunteers.

"PPL welcomes the government's response to the consultation on music licensing and the decision to adopt the simplest solution for right-holders users in the Third Sector," said PPL chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla.

"This is a welcome move by the government which gives our performers and record companies equivalent rights to those enjoyed throughout the rest of Europe. We have already started the dialogue with the charity umbrella organizations and we are determined to reach an agreement with them which is both easy to administer and fair to the charities and to the musicians and labels who produce the music they wish to use."

Jeremy Fabinyi, acting CEO of PRS for Music, added: "We have been licensing music used in premises all across the U.K. since 1914 and, working with our customers, we have developed a fair and balanced licensing approach, ensuring community groups can enjoy the benefits of using music. We are committed to working closely with PPL to develop a pilot joint licensing scheme ensuring easy access to music for all that wish to use it."