SOSCN Documents - video (DVD) licences. Copyright The Scottish Out of School Care Network 2024

video (DVD) licences

Film and DVD Screening Licence Requirements

Public screening of films e.g. DVDs in your service

In order to screen a film in your service, two different licences are required: one for premises, and the other for copyright of films.

Premises Licence

A licence is needed to exhibit films, this is part of the Licensing Act 2003. You may find that the venue you would like to use to show films already has a licence in place (School, Village Hall). However, if you need to apply for a licence, you can find out more information about this here:


There are, however, exemptions that may apply to your service, please note that as of April 2015 you will no longer need a premises licence to screen if your screening is: a) not-for-profit screening and b) held between 8.30am and 11.00pm. See this exemption (pg. 99) here:

“Films: no licence is required for 'not-for-profit' film exhibition held in community premises between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500 and the organiser (a) gets consent to the screening from a person who is responsible for the premises; and (b) ensures that each such screening abides by age classification ratings.”

Copyright Licence

To put on a public screening of a film you will need permission from the copyright owner of the film. Permission is granted in the form of a licence.

The licensing of films for non-theatrical screenings is fairly complicated but the vast majority of films are available through three major gateway distributors, the BFI, Filmbankmedia and MPLC. The BFI and Filmbankmedia have catalogues online where you can search to see if they have the rights to a particular film. For MPLC you will need to speak to their licensing team. You can find out more here:

Further information

If you have any questions or require further information you can get in touch with at this email:


SOSCN is not responsible for the contents of external websites and this information is given in good faith as of the date the information was obtained (January 2017). This is not official legal advice, contact the agencies above to confirm any updates or changes to the rules.

last updated: 17/04/18