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Knowledge

FAQs

How long does an MPLC licence last for?

An MPLC Public Performance Licence allows you to show all the licensed movies and TV content you want in your business or commercial setting for a period of one year.

You don’t need to tell us which movies or programmes you plan to show.

Towards the end of the year we will contact you to renew your licence.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

How much does an MPLC Public Performance Licence cost?

The MPLC Public Performance Licence is a simple, affordable annual fee. You don’t need to tell us which movies you are showing or watching, there is no ongoing reporting or admin paperwork.

The cost of a license depends on :

  • What sector or industry you are in
  • How big your premises are
  • How many locations you have

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

What is an Umbrella Licence?

The term “Umbrella Licence” is another, older name for the MPLC Public Performance Licence.

We are changing the name in 2023 to make things simpler to understand. There is only one licence though and there is no difference between an Umbrella Licence and an MPLC Public Performance Licence. You may see both names used on documents and materials as we transition.

An MPLC Public Performance licence is required to legally show movies and TV programmes to the public or any closed user group of customers, members or other people. The licence is affordable, easy to buy and covers you and your business immediately.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show licensed movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

Once I have an MPLC Public Performance Licence, can I advertise a movie or program that I want to show?

Yes : You can use the programme or film title and character names within your building, office or facility and on direct communications to people that you know by email or letter. You can also use this information when responding to direct enquiries from individuals such as by email or instant messaging.

You can also advertise a “Movie Night” or “Children’s Movie Night”, for example, to the general public, as long as no film title or character names are use in the advertisement.

No : You can not use the programme or film title and character names publically on a website or social media account, billboard, advert or any other publicly visible media.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

I have a TV licence, what is an MPLC licence and why do I need one for public showing of TV and movie content?

Your TV Licence covers the use and installation of TV receiving equipment at the place specified on the licence.

It does not cover business premises for the public performance of copyright material contained within films and television programmes.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

What happens if I show movies or TV programmes publicly and don’t get an MPLC Public Performance licence?

Unfortunately, it is a legal requirement to have a licence and if you show a movie or TV programmes publicly without one then you are breaking the law (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act). This can result in a fine for each instance, programme or movie that is shown. You could also be liable for court costs and legal fees,

You can confirm this on the UK government website here which includes a link back to our website. It states :

It’s not worth risking these charges when a licence costs is very affordable.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

Is MPLC a legitimate organisation?

We understand that if you have not heard of MPLC before you will want to be sure we are a legitimate organisation.

We have been working with and representing the major copyright holders including major Hollywood studios and local producers for over 30 years. We have contracts with them, you can read testimonials from them here.

You can check the UK Government website here which explains when you need a licence and names MPLC with a link back to our website as one of two places where you can get licensed. 

You can also check our registration at the UK’s Companies House where we have been registered for nearly 30 years and you can read about the people who work for MPLC here.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

Is the MPLC licence genuine?

Yes it is.

We have been working with and representing the major copyright holders including major Hollywood studios and local producers for over 30 years. We have contracts with them, you can read testimonials from them here.

We also work closely with organisations like FACT which has been protecting the content, product and interests of the film and television industries since 1983.

We are registered with UK Trading standards, and at Companies House and you can also check the UK Government’s website that that explains the need for the licence and shows MPLC as the place to get one.  You can also read bios of some of the team who work at MPLC UK.

We work very carefully to ensure we operate with the strictest standards of ethics and integrity to manage the whole licensing process. For example, we record all telephone calls held with our licensing representatives so that we can check and make sure you are always provided with correct information as to when you do and don’t need an MPLC licence.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately.

I am only showing football or sports. Do I still need an MPLC licence?

MPLC does not currently licence sports so if you are only showing sports programmes you do not need an MPLC licence.

However to avoid a copyright infringement you would need a mechanism in place to avoid the accidental or occasional showing of non sporting programmes. If you do not have that then an MPLC licence will cover you for that liability,

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

How does the MPLC Public Performance Licence for TV programmes and Movies work in practice?

MPLC Public Performance Licences are very affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately. 

  • You pay us a simple, affordable annual fee based on the type and size of your site, location or business. 
  • You do not need to report to us, or anyone else, which TV programmes or movies that you show. You are free to show any licensed programme at any time and without limits or restrictions.
  • You can use any legal media as a source of programmes. That includes broadcast on television, DVD’s, satellite,cable TV channels or viewed from the internet. – anything that is labelled “for personal private use only”. When you have an MPLC Public Performance Licence that removes the “personal private use” restriction from the media that you use.

The only restrictions are that you cannot charge an admission fee to watch movies or programmes and you cannot advertise the the fact that you are showing a specific film or show to anyone other than a closed group of the patrons of your licensed premises.

If you want to charge an admission fee or promote the showing of a specific film or show in a more public way then you need a Single Title Movie Licence, which we can also help you with.

I’ve been running my business for many years without a licence. Why do I suddenly need one now?

We often get asked this question and we understand it can come as a surprise when you suddenly have a new licence to pay for something that you haven’t heard of before.

In the UK, the legislation changed in 2016 making this additional licence required and we have been working hard to catch up and inform every business that might need a licence since that date.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

We are a private club occasionally showing documentaries. Do we need an MPLC Public Performance Licence?

Yes you do.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a private club or open to the public you are treated the same – only a private household is exempt. And whether you show documentaries or the latest Hollywood blockbuster it doesn’t matter.

But don’t worry, MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

Can I use DVD’s and Blu-ray videos in public spaces

Yes you can but to do this legally you need to buy an affordable MPLC Public Performance Licence which collects a small amount of money from you to pay to the content producers and Hollywood studios that made the contents of the DVD or Blu-ray that you are showing.

DVD’s and Blu-ray disks will include the text “for personal, private use only” on the packaging. When you have an MPLC Public Performance Licence you can ignore that text as you have paid the extra amount required to show the content publicly.

MPLC Public Performance Licences are affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV programmes in a public or commercial space.

Will you take legal action against me if I do not buy a licence?

We do not like to refer unlicensed organisations to our rightsholders for legal action as it is expensive and wasteful for everyone and can result in exceptional costs for a small business. An MPLC licence is affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately so we would much rather talk to you and come to an agreement where you buy a licence and become compliant.

Legal action is available as a last resort.

In cases where an organisation is showing copyrighted content in a public space knowingly in breach of the law, then copyright holders can and do take legal action and there are many examples of this. In the UK you can read stories detailing where enforcement action has been taken at fact-uk.org.uk

There is no need to expose yourself or your business to the risk of legal enforcement action because an MPLC Public Performance Licences is affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately.

We already have a public performance licence that allows us to play music, do we need this as well?

Yes you do.

A licence for playing music in a public space allows you to play music. The money collected through that licence goes to the artists, performers and music labels that produce the music.

To play audiovisual content–films and TV programmes–you need a separate licence for those and that’s what we provide with the MPLC Public Performance Licence. The money we collect and share with our rightsholders is shared in turn with the individual actors, professionals, technicians and other creative personnel that create all that wonderful movie and TV content.

An MPLC Public Performance licence that allows you to show movie and TV content in a public place is very affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately.

I work for a public or governmental organisation or entity, do we need a licence?

Yes, copyright law applies to all organisations and businesses, including not-for-profit organisations, members clubs, public sector organisations and charities.

So when you are showing movies and TV programmes publicly either to a group of the general public or a closed group of members or supporters then you still do need an MPLC licence as a charity or a non-profit organisation.

But don’t worry, licences are very affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately.

Do charities and non-profit organisations need an MPLC licence?

Yes, copyright law applies to all organisations and businesses, including not-for-profit organisations, members clubs, public sector organisations and charities.

So when you are showing movies and TV programmes publicly either to a group of the general public or a closed group of members or supporters then you still do need an MPLC licence as a charity or a non-profit organisation.

But don’t worry, licences are very affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately.

I show movies and tv programmes publicly but I don’t charge any admission or viewing fees. Do I need an MPLC Public Performance Licence?

Yes you do.

An MPLC Public Performance licence is required to legally show movies and TV programmes to the public or any closed user group of customers, members or other people.

In fact an MPLC Public Performance licence only allows you to show movies for free to people. If you would like to charge people to see a movie then you actually need a different licence called a Single Title Movie Licence. We have thousands of movie titles available to be shown that you can charge an entry or screening fee for. To find out which movies are available call us on 01323 649 647 or email us at ukinfo@mplc.com.

If you are showing movies publicly without charging any admission or viewing fees then you will be covered by a simple, annual, MPLC Public Performance Licence. This is affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately.

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