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The legal way to show movies and TV in a public or commercial space.

If you are showing TV programs or movies in a public space then you need a Public Performance License on top of your TV License or TV subscription. This applies to shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, clubs, dentist rooms, car showrooms and even semi-public spaces like membership clubs, employee breakrooms or gyms.

© Marvel Entertainment Disney 2022

Who is MPLC?

MPLC has represented Hollywood studios like Disney, Universal, Paramount, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Dreamworks Animation for over 35 years. These studios, together with thousands more independent film and TV producers, have appointed MPLC to collect license revenue from non-theatrical venues – that’s the industry term for places that show movies and TV in public spaces but are not traditional cinemas. MPLC is now the largest non-theatrical TV and movie licensing company in the world.

MPLC was founded in 1985 by a former vice-president of Paramount Pictures and MGM. We now have offices in 28 countries with our headquarters split between the UK and USA. Our UK home is in Eastbourne Sussex, and in the USA we are based, as you might expect, in Los Angeles next to many of the Hollywood studios that we represent.

Nearly 150 people work for MPLC, most of them dedicating their time to explaining to businesses the need to become licensed and then making that affordable, easy and quick.

What is a public performance license?

Copyright law makes a distinction between “private performance” (e.g., home viewing) and “public performance”. Public performance is where a movie or TV program is shown in a place where members of the public could see it outside of their own home.

This includes bars and restaurants, hotel rooms, offices, businesses, car dealerships, dental offices, doctor’s waiting rooms, staff areas even community venues and members-only places and clubs. A public performance license, available here quickly and affordably, grants you the rights to show TV programs, news, and movie content to your employees, customers, members or staff.  The Hollywood studios, and other studios who created the TV and movie programs, get paid from the license revenue that we collect for them and that supports thousands of jobs and ongoing creativity.

Who needs a license?

Almost any business or organization with a TV screen showing movies, news or TV programs in a public space will need a license. It doesn’t matter how you get your programs – DVD, Blu-ray, download or streaming, broadcast, cable, or satellite television – it is the program that needs to be licensed rather than the way you get it.

This might be new information for you, but licenses are designed to be quick, easy and affordable.

When you buy a license from MPLC you are helping your business stay compliant with federal copyright law, and this significantly reduces the risk associated with violations.

But don’t worry, licenses are very affordable, easy to buy and can be can be issued immediately.

Meet our Senior Team

Supporting content creators

At MPLC, we’re passionate about supporting the entertainment industry and helping fund great content. Great content is only possible if creators are paid for the content they produce, so we collect royalties on behalf of our rights holders and ensure they are paid for their work.

And the studios we represent

For over 30 years we have partnered with the world’s most recognised and prestigious Hollywood studios and hundreds of independent producers and content creators worldwide. Together we have deep partnerships and long standing relationships. These studios trust us to collect the royalties they are entitled to. They trust us to behave responsibly and be a respectful guardian of their works. They trust us to be an extension of their brand.

Your questions answered

We’re here for you…

  • We show movies, TV, and other audiovisual content via DVD, Blu-Ray, download, stream, over the air broadcast, cable, or satellite TV. Do we still need a license to view or show it in public?
    The content obtained in all those ways is meant for personal, private use only and is not meant for showing in public without permission from the rights holder. An Umbrella License may be needed when MPLC’s rights holders’ content is shown in public.…
  • I already have a cable or satellite business package. Do I also need an Umbrella License?
    You do if you want a low-cost way to limit the risk of copyright infringement lawsuits from rightsholders of unlicensed programming included in these packages. That’s because your cable or satellite business package almost certainly does not protect you against such claims. As far as we are aware, n…
  • We do not charge an admission fee or cover charge. Do we still need a public performance license? 
     A license may be required regardless of whether an admission fee is charged. In fact, the Umbrella License only covers situations where admission is not charged.…
  • We are a nonprofit organization. Do we still need a public performance license?
    Yes. The U.S. Copyright Act applies equally to nonprofit and for-profit organizations.…
  • How does the MPLC Public Performance License for TV  and Movies work in practice?
    MPLC Public Performance Licenses 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  or movies tha…
  • We are not open to the general public. Do we still need a public performance license?
    Yes. Any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered including, but not limited to, clubs, lodges, factories, summer camps and schools, requires a public performance license to show audiovisual content to its members or …
  • Who else has an MPLC license? And do any of them also have cable/satellite business TV channel packages?
    MPLC has been in business for over 35 years and has provided licenses to tens of thousands of businesses, government entities and non-profit organizations across the US and in 33 other countries around the world. MPLC’s US licensees include well-known restaurant chains, the major hotel brands, healt…
  • We rent out our facility to other groups. Can we be liable for copyright infringement?
    Yes. You may be held contributorily or vicariously liable for the copyright infringement if you have a financial interest in the activity and/or make your facility available for a public performance.…
  • How much does the license cost?
    MPLC determines license fees based on the type of facility and intended license use. We strive to provide simple and affordable license solutions.…

Our Partners

MPLC works closely with leading institutions to support intellectual property rights. Along with our partners, we educate organizations about copyright and the importance of compliance.