Get the right DVD licence for your hotel

21 September 2006
Get the right DVD licence for your hotel

Doug Locke's article ("Copyright for TV in guestrooms", 7 September) raised awareness of the dangers of copyright infringement when a hotel lends or rents DVDs to guests, but it did not set out where or how to apply for a copyright licence.

It should also be pointed out that a licence is necessary whether the guest pays to watch the film or not.

Unlike some industry copyright collection societies, there is not one that covers all distributors of DVDs and films. The result is that a licence from one collection society may not allow you to play the films that you want.

There are two big collection societies in the UK and each has different licences and costs.

Filmbank ( represents a number of the big studios including Sony, Miramax, MGM and Warner Brothers. It provides a specifically tailored licence for hotels that allows guests to watch films in their rooms as and when they want.

The other is The Motion Picture Licensing Company (, representing other studios including 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Touchstone, and providing a slightly different licence, based on size and type of facility.

Depending on the services offered by a hotel, one licence may be enough - provided you only show films from the distributors represented.

Richard Findlay
Head of entertainment, hospitality and leisure
Tods Murray LLP

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