MPLC FAQs

Who are MPLC?

The Motion Picture Licensing Company is a copyright licensing agency representing over 850 film studios and television production companies.  MPLC operates in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Why am I being asked to buy an MPLC Licence?

In June 2016 there was a change in copyright law which means that operators now require a licence to show television programmes and/or films on their premises.

How much does an MPLC licence cost?

ukactive has negotiated a flat rate tariff of £237.50 + vat per site per year with a 10% discount for ukactive members (reduced to £213.75 + vat).

Why is ukactive working with MPLC?

In the same way that we have worked with PPL on their ‘exercise to music’ tariff, we have worked with MPLC to get the best deal for ukactive members and the industry.

I already pay for a TV Licence. Why do I need an MPLC Licence as well?

Your TV Licence covers the use and installation of TV receiving equipment at the premises specified on the licence.  It doesn’t cover business premises for the public performance of copyright material contained within films and television programmes.

Why am I being asked to pay from January 2017?

The change to the law happened in June 2016. ukactive and MPLC agreed that a grace period would be given for the period July – December 2016.

I do not provide film screenings or television programmes for my customers to watch. Does that mean I don’t need this licence?

Correct, but you will need to declare this to ukactive so we can update our records.

I read that this licence only applies to venues who do not charge an entrance fee. My customers pay a membership fee so why do I need this licence?

 

Although users of fitness facilities may pay a membership fee, they are not charged an entrance fee for the purpose of viewing TV/film broadcasts. This is covered in clause 3b of section 72 CDPA:

(3) The following shall not be regarded as having paid for admission to a place—

        (b) persons admitted as members of a club or society where the payment is only for membership of the club or society and the provision of facilities for seeing or hearing broadcasts is only incidental to the main purposes of the club or society.

Are there any TV channels which don’t require an MPLC Licence?

An MPLC licence is not required for the following channels providing the screens are locked to these channels:
  • BT Sport 
  • Sky Sports
  • News Channels
  • Music channels 
  • Zoom Media (a VPL licence covers you for the film copyright contained in music videos)

If you provide any other channels you will still need the MPLC licence.

Do I still need an MPLC licence if we are based in a hotel?

If the fitness centre is owned and managed by the hotel, they will be covered under a different tariff.  Please contact MPLC for more information.

Do I still need an MPLC licence if we are a corporate gym?

Gyms within corporate premises will be covered under a different tariff.  Please contact MPLC for more information.

Do I still need an MPLC licence if I have screens on the cardio equipment only?

Yes, if there are screens on the equipment showing television programmes and/or films then an MPLC licence is required.

What if I do not provide customers with live, real time broadcast television/films?

An MPLC licence is still required whether you show television programmes/films when they’re broadcast live, or on demand (ie downloads/streaming/DVD/Blu-ray).

If my customers watch TV programmes or films on their personal devices on the premises, do I need an MPLC licence?

No, an MPLC licence is not required.

What are the penalties for screening television programmes or films without the MPLC licence?

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act prescribes damages for infringement of copyright that may subject you to substantial fines and penalties.

Who would prosecute?

The Federation Against Copyright Theft Organisation (FACT). They work with the Police, Trading Standards and Customs and Excise departments to investigate and prosecute illegal showings on behalf of the film and TV industry.

How do I apply for the MPLC licence?

Please email ukactive’s licensing team and we will send you an application form.

Do you offer a payment plan?

We can accept payment by direct debit over four consecutive months.

 
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