Watching all or part of a film in a lesson or for extra-curricular activities

In a lesson

There is an educational exception which states that if a film is screened as part of the curriculum, a copyright licence is not required. Performing, playing or showing film in a school, university or other educational establishments, for educational purposes applies if the audience is limited to teachers, pupils and others directly connected with the curriculum activities of the establishment. An example of this is showing a ‘King Lear’ title as part of a Shakespeare study course.

However, you are not permitted to edit or adapt any part of a film. Please contact the rights-holder directly for any film clip use or any instances that involve adapting or editing the original.

For extra-curricular use

Permission is granted under the PVSL and MPLC licences

Pre-recorded films on home entertainment formats (DVD / BluRay / digital file, AVI, MPEG / Flash / RM / MP4 etc), whether rented or purchased or downloaded from the internet, are intended for home use only, as per the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Showing films anywhere outside of a domestic, home environment are all considered ‘public performances’ and require a licence from the copyright owner.

If you do use films in a school for extra-curricular purposes, such as a film club, during a wet weather break or as an after-school activity, there are legal protections which must be managed to prevent copyright infringement. Licences are readily provided by the industry, with each licence offering specific rights for the type of location and event. It is important that teachers and activity managers select the right licence.

The Public Video Screening Licence (PVSL) was created by Filmbankmedia, an organisation representing many major film studios and distributors including Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Paramount Pictures, MGM and many more.

The PVSL, available on an annual basis, enables schools to show films from participating studios for entertainment purposes during and out of school hours, including in after-school and film clubs. Filmbankmedia also supplies many movies ‘pre-DVD release’ – ideal for fundraising events – alongside the licensing required for such screenings. No ‘add-on’ licence is required for the screening of Hollywood, Bollywood and Independent films available from within Filmbankmedia’s repertoire.

Contact Filmbankmedia on 020 7984 5921 or email

The MPLC Umbrella Licence® for Schools is an annual licence that entitles schools to screen unlimited films and TV shows for entertainment purposes such as pre & after school clubs, end of term treat, film clubs and wet weather alternatives. The licence represents over 1,000 studios, distributors & TV producers only available within the MPLC repertoire.

There is no overlap or studio duplication between the MPLC and PVS Licence. They are two stand alone licences required by a school.

Contact MPLC on 01323 649 647 or email


PRS for Music

Film soundtracks embody the ‘original musical works’; the right perform or play these works must be separately licensed by the copyright owner. Please refer to the ‘Music’ section of the website.