The new PACT-MCPS Independent Production Company (IPC) Licence

May 2008

Television, internet, publishing

The MCPS launched its Independent Production Company licence as a mandatory scheme for television producers on 1st August 2007 and has now accepted a number of changes proposed by Pact, the trade association representing independent film and television producers. However Pact advise that the licence does have some elements that may not be entirely welcome to certain producers, and members are advised to consider the licence and the Guidance Note carefully in coming to a decision about taking up a licence.  In particular, the IPC licence contains a clause that requires users to pay licence fees even if the material used is covered by the “fair dealing” copyright rules.  Pact had tried to persuade MCPS to remove this requirement but MCPS has stated that its members insist that such payments are essential if producers wish to have the benefit of automatic clearance for the entire MCSP repertoire. The MCPS scheme is mandatory – MCPS publishers will no longer be in a position to grant music rights individually to producers.  The only alternatives to licensing through the MCPS IPC licence are for a producer to use their own commissioned music, use public domain music or use other repertoire licensed by bodies other than MCPS such as Audio Networks. The licence, available to all UK producers, will automatically clear primary uses of all MCPS music in programmes made for any UK broadcaster (except where the broadcaster already has its own blanket MCPS licence that covers independent producers). Primary uses include the broadcaster’s primary transmissions, plus the 30 day video on demand windows. Payment is per 30 seconds of use, and based on a rate card with different rates for each channel.  There is an increase in rates for commercial music to cover the additional rights granted.  The Channel 4 rate is £107 per 30 seconds, and the Five rate is £78 per 30 seconds. The licence will also cover the use of music in content related to the programme that is used in new media applications such as video-on-demand, online and mobile services.  The commercial music rate for Channel 4 programmes is £36 per 30 seconds, and the Five rate is £26 per 30 seconds.

 MCPS IPC Licence

The Guidance Note contains further information about the licence, including details on how to apply.

 MCPS IPC Licence – Guidance Note

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