All Press Releases for November 20, 2008

Musician Has Vowed to Defend His Right to Sell His CDs on the Streets

Elavi, a multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter from Manchester, is fighting a Local Bill he says will prevent him using his peddlars' licence to distribute his music.

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, November 20, 2008 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Bill Elavi is fighting is currently being held in Parliament and has been backed by Manchester City Council whose aim with the bill is to tackle the activities of illegal street traders. Elavi said: "There may be illegal street traders out there, but my activities are not illegal and there are people who have sold goods on the streets using a peddlars' licence all their lives, and the law allowing them to do it has been in place since the 1800s. we are just poor people trying to make a living."

Elavi was prosecuted last December by Manchester City Council for selling CDs of his music on the streets without a licence. He pleaded guilty and was fined 250, despite being just a few weeks away from gaining the permit. Peddlars' licences cost around 13.00 per year and are obtained from the police. They allow people to sell goods on the street, provided they move around and don't stick to one pitch. Anyone wanting a permanent pitch has to pay about 700 for a traders' licence.

Elavi fears that, if passed, the Bill will prevent people using peddlars' licences for this purpose. "Without the ability to trade on the street I will be in a very difficult situation," he said. "I'm not getting at the council because they're just doing a job. But it's tough for up-and-coming artists to get their stuff heard and this is one of the only ways of doing it."
If and when the bill is passed he will no longer in his home town be legally able to follow the blue-print of U.S. hip-hop heroes Jay-Z and Nas - who also started by peddling their music on street corners.

"Even though I am selling my music through a few branches of HMV and through my website, , I don't want to touch the revenue from that because I want to use it to build up my business and my brand," Elavi said. "I understand that there will be people trying to use peddlars' licences to sell illegal stuff, but I have only ever sold my CDs, which is perfectly legitimate."

But a spokesperson for Manchester City Council said the bill would not stop people with the licences trading on the streets. Instead, it would enable the council to tackle illegal activity by seizing rogue peddlars' goods and limiting the activities of those trading house to house. The spokesperson said: "Peddlars' certificates are, and still will be, administered by the police, and allow people to sell items on the street, but require that they do not have a fixed stall and do not stay in the same area for longer than a certain period, usually around 20 minutes. However, some peddlars in Manchester have abused the current privileges their peddlars' certificate allows them." Canterbury, Bournemouth, Reading, Leeds and Nottingham councils are pursuing similar legislation.

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