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Is This A Scam Or For Real?


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Wondering if anyone else has come across this.


I recently received a letter from a company offering to sell me a licence so that I can show vidoes & dvds in the setting. It said that it's illegal to show them without the licence, as such videos etc are bought for home viewing only, not for groups of children to view.


I do have viedos in setting, but haven't played them for several months since the tv got broken. We have never used the set to watch tv. The videos we have are mostly donated by parents, with the odd freebie that comapnies have actually sent to us unsolicited - e.g. the BBC. So I'm wondering if this letter is genuine or someone trying to make money through scaremongering? The trouble is I know enough about some of the licensing laws to think there could be something in it.


I can't remember what the charge was going to be. I don't think we'd be getting a license any way. But I am curious to know what ohters think!

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Hi weightman

It is not a scam in that you do need to have licence for playing videos and DVDs but as Sue has said I wouldn't pay anything to a private compnay.

We have had this conversation before which you can find here.


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Many thanks, Linda. It seems like I got one of the letters Peggy talked about, so I shall be ignoring that!!


For the rest, it's pretty much as I thought [i think!] but I'll raise it at the next Early Years Forum 'cos I've not heard it discussed locally before. It gives me a good reason to lose a few unsuitable videos that parents have brought in, without causing offence.

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Definitely ignore those letters Weightman - they're fishing in the same way as the letters trying to persuade you to pay them to register you with the Data Protection people.


And if anyone ever comes to your setting to 'follow up' these letters, just smile at them and ask them to wait outside while you call the police to verify their story. Take their id cards if you can! :)


I detest these people!

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I had a letter like this a couple of weeks ago but it was accompanied by a copy of an article from nursery world endorsing the company. We dont have a TV so I binned it anyway but I wonder if nursery world are aware? :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not from Nursery World, but from Children's Choices in Lincolnshire; it looks like they're just publising material they've been sent by the company:


'Get a Licence before showing Videos'


The Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC) has warned that nurseries & Pre-schools (this will include kids clubs) showing children's films or video must obtain a licence or permission from the copyright law. This is because video cassettes and DVDs are intended for home use only, it is illegal for a setting to show without an 'umbrella' licence provided by the MPLC. A licence costs £2 per child per year, or 4 pence a week. Once the setting has paid the flat fee and received the licence they can show from all the MPLC-affiliated studios and producers. Penalties include a £5,000 fine or six months imprisonment under the terms of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.



Phone: 01323 649 647

FAx: 01323 439 354




Very interested to hear what you think of this!! I think this is the same information as came in my original letter. Surely it can't apply to material produced specifically for groups/ training materials etc?

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I think it is the same company weightman. I was under the impression, and I dont know where I got this, that schools could show DVD's if it was for educational purposes. That being the case I heard of one school (could of been my son's) that Braveheart was shown under the pretext the teacher wanted the children to use it for a history lesson. Obviously a mock history lesson would be better, how wrong can one film be? :D

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Sorry but I have no idea how to link to this discussion!!!


I started it on September 10 after reading July issue of Nursery World regarding copyright law. It is under Practice and Provision/Curriculum General Issues.


"Have just got around to looking through this summer's Nursery World magazines and found an interesting article from the July 22 issue.


Did you know that ........


Nurseries and playgroups showing children films on DVDs or videos must obtain a licence or permission from the copyright owner or else they will be in breach of the copyright law. This is because videos and DVDs are intended for home use only and it is therefore illegal for a nursery, etc. to show them without an umbrella licence provided by the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC).


A licence costs £2 per child per year. Penalties for not paying this include a £5000 fine or six months in jail!!!!


The article suggests contacting MPLC on 01323 649 647 or www.mplcuk.com


Interesting, eh?!?!? Seems a bit harsh as nurseries and pre-schools would surely not be charging the children to watch the videos or DVDs. Worth looking into though, if any of you do show videos/DVDs from time to time."



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Hi -

I can only repeat the link Linda gave above where I gave the response from the two main licensing organisations after I'd contacted them.


I guess the response didn't really cover showing whole movies, and I was mainly interested in music and shorter instructional videos, but I don't think there are many nurseries around who are showing complete disney videos are there? :o


Here's the link. Make what you will of it, but they seemed quite positive, and now that the Foundation Stage Guidance is more or less accepted as a curriculum, I think nurseries and pre-school playgroups are able to come under the same umbrella exemption. I'm not, however, a lawyer... :)


You could always call the PPL people I mention in my post - they were very helpful!

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That's what I meant oldtimer! :D


I don't think I can recall the children in Helen's nursery ever watching anything except, for example, an episode of Fourways Farm, linked in to a topic. Five minutes or so at the most of selected material.


Audio seems to be covered by the link I gave above. This company could be confusing the distinction between educational video clips, audio, and the licensing for full blown videos?


It would be interesting to hear if any members do play films to their children though. :)

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Good ,at least we agree on something!!

There are a lot of places where videos are used,I did supply at one where nearly every day the children had to sit still,Oh it made me so cross!

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We would never use a film for the children-apart from anything else it would take up virtually all of the session!!! And I realy couldn't see the point. But I do know of a local authority nursery that has used them from time to time, running them over a couple of days.

It would be nice though to use short clips like episodes from some TV programs if they were relevant to a topic.


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I agree with what you say about watching videos in preschool. I was concerned, though, at the way Children's Links appear to have sent it out to every group they're in contact with.

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Well, quite Weightman. I don't know this children's links organisation (must go and have a closer look!) but there are plenty of organisations around who are quite prepared to scare nursery managers with some generalisation of the law (eg data protection notification) and take payments for something unnecessary! If I have time over the next few days I'll try to contact the people in the link I gave above to see what they think. Unless anyone else gets there first! :D


Oldtimer - you mean we only agree on one thing? :o

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We show a video for a short time after our lunch club children have eaten their lunch, before the afternoon activities begin. We provide comfy seating - cushions etc and we find this is a useful 'chill out' time to let their lunch go down. We certainly don't want - or have time - to show complete 90 minute videos!


By the time they've watched a few minutes of Pingu or Kipper and recharged their batteries they're ready for whatever we've planned for them next.


Some children would spend all afternoon in front of the tv (just as they would in front of the computer) if we'd let them. Others prefer to to outside and play instead. Others prefer to relax by having an adult read them a story.


Either way, I don't suppose my boss has thought about whether we need a licence to show these videos - I'll have to check!



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, MPLC have written to us again, three times now. I've search the net and found this from patent.gov.uk/copy/legislation.pdf


34 Performing, playing or showing work in course of activities of educational


(1) The performance of a literary, dramatic or musical work before an audience

consisting of teachers and pupils at an educational establishment and other persons

directly connected with the activities of the establishment –

(a) by a teacher or pupil in the course of the activities of the establishment, or

(xD at the establishment by any person for the purposes of instruction,

is not a public performance for the purposes of infringement of copyright.

(2) The playing or showing of a sound recording, film or broadcast before such an

audience at an educational establishment for the purposes of instruction is not a

playing or showing of the work in public for the purposes of infringement of


(3) A person is not for this purpose directly connected with the activities of the

educational establishment simply because he is the parent of a pupil at the





3529 Recording by educational establishments of broadcasts

(1) A recording of a broadcast, or a copy of such a recording, may be made by or on

behalf of an educational establishment for the educational purposes of that

establishment without thereby infringing the copyright in the broadcast, or in any

work included in it, provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement

of the broadcast and that the educational purposes are non-commercial.

(1A) Copyright is not infringed where a recording of a broadcast or a copy of such a

recording, whose making was by virtue of subsection (1) not an infringement of

copyright, is communicated to the public by a person situated within the premises of

an educational establishment provided that the communication cannot be received

by any person situated outside the premises of that establishment.

(2) This section does not apply if or to the extent that there is licensing scheme certified

for the purposes of this section under section 143 providing for the grant of licences.

(3) Where a copy which would otherwise be an infringing copy is made in accordance

with this section but is subsequently dealt with, it shall be treated as an infringing

copy for the purposes of that dealing, and if that dealing infringes copyright for all

subsequent purposes.

For this purpose "dealt with" means sold or let for hire, offered or exposed for sale

or hire, or communicated from within the premises of an educational establishment

to any person situated outside those premises.


Not very easy to read but basically says if yu're an educational establishment and the purpose of watching or recording to watch is for education, then you are not in breach of any laws. And ifyou got to the end of that without going bonkers, have a gold star :o:D

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well no sorry Rea I didn't quite grasp all that lot (so no star then - but you can have one for typing it all up!) But just having had my letter from MPLC thought I ought to follow this thread a bit more closely than I had done before.


Anyway, your last paragraph put it very simply, but just one question about Steve's post on the other thread re the Nativity Play. When we do ours (oh no, how many more months before I've got to do it again!!! It's not the play that worries me too much, but the speech I have to make!) Anyway, we are in a church hall, and while the children are getting changed in a side room, the parents etc are coming into the main hall, and I usually play Christmas hymns to set the mood - this only happens before the play begins. Do you think I'm in the clear or not ???????




Janice :o

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Steve - Christmas hymns playing from a CD - do you reckon that would have a copyright on it???? Looked through our collection but can't find a copyright 'C' anywhere - but would need a magnifying glass to see it and can't find one right now!


Actually I thought Cliff Richard sang Silent Night quite well - have you heard Sinead O'Connor's version ? Maybe let's not go there just yet - it's only June !!!!!!!!


janice :o

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