Stephen Miller, owner of the nightclub Ivory Lounge in Dunstable, has received a large bill and has been warned that he could face imprisonment after it emerged that he had been playing music without the relevant copyright licence.

The businessman had been taken to court by Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), which represents UK musicians and music publishers.

PPL contacted Mr. Miller in 2014 encouraging him to apply for a licence but he did not heed the warning. This prompted officials to begin legal proceedings.

Last year, the Ivory Lounge was banned from playing PPL songs, but the case went back to court last month after it emerged that the offending tracks were still being played at the venue.

Mr Justice Birss, sitting in the High Court, London, said that an inference could be drawn that the nightclub had been “operating in consistent breach of the court order for a considerable period of time.”

He imposed a three-month suspended prison sentence, believing that it would be the best way to see that Mr. Miller complied with the ban.

Mr. Miller was also ordered to pay damages totalling £5,177 to PPL and legal costs of £17,000.