Changes to TV and Film Showing Rules

Business will now require a licence to show broadcast TV and films in public

Following recent changes to the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988, the showing of broadcast television programmes and film in public now requires a licence.

Previously there has been exemption for showing films via free-to-air services. This covered situations such as having a TV in a lounge or bar that plays films on channels like BBC or ITV. However, there has been a requirement on the UK Government to remove that exemption to bring UK copyright law into line with European copyright law.

Who does this affect?
This change will affect businesses that show TV programmes or films via:

  • live broadcast
  • DVD or Blu-Ray
  • the internet

This includes businesses such as:

  • hotels
  • bars
  • restaurants
  • pubs
  • shops
  • clubs

What do I need to do?
If you are showing TV programmes or films in your business, you will need to obtain a licence.

There are a number of main organisations who issue these licenses, including the Motion Picture Licensing Company.

Hospitality Ulster have launched guidance on theĀ showing of broadcast television programmes and film in public.