Related Links: Legal
Related Links: Legal
Useful organisations and websites for legal advice and information.
Associations, Guilds & Unions
The UK union for broadcasting, film, theatre, entertainment, leisure, interactive media and allied sectors.
Directors Guild of Great Britain
A trade union representing directors across all media. It offers help with contracts, a campaigning voice and organises seminars and screenings.
Equity is a trade union that represents artists from across the arts and entertainment industries.
New Producers Alliance
The New Producers Alliance is a fee-paying membership organisation set up to provide training and networking opportunities to filmmakers in the UK. Their Film Centre has lots of resources for independent filmmakers.
Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT)
Trade association in the UK representing independent television, feature film, animation and new media.
The Writers' Guild of Great Britain
A membership-based organisation, with a specific arm focussing on screenwriters. The Writers' Guild' agreements establish the minimum terms and conditions for TV, film, radio, book and theatre work.
Business & Financial Organisations
This site provides practical advice to business including information on setting up a company.
Companies House is the official register of companies in the UK. On the website you can find guidance notes on company formation and choosing a company name as well as all the relevant forms.
DETI: Companies Registry
Companies Registry is part of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI). Information on incorporating companies in Northern Ireland can be found on the DETI website.
Financial Services Authority (FSA)
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is an independent non-governmental body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK. All financial promotions in the UK, in the course of business, need to be approved by them.
HM Revenue & Customs
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) collects and administers taxes. If you decide to set up as a film company, the company will be liable to pay corporation tax based on its taxable income or profits. For more information on corporation tax and VAT go to HMRC.
Copyright Organisations & Resources
The Industry Trust
The Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness was established in 2004 to tackle the growing issue of film and TV copyright theft in the UK.
A free Intellectual Property Resource for London creatives, but the resources are helpful for all filmmakers. They offer a "range of services, from basic to specialist support, through online and face-to-face seminars, workshops and, where appropriate, surgeries with intellectual property lawyers". They also have free legal contract templates and factsheets.
The Script Factory: Script Registration Service
This national screenwriters' organisation offers a Script Registration Service for a small fee.
The UK Copyright Service
The UK Copyright Service provides copyright registration for original works by writers, musicians, artists, designers, software providers, authors, companies, organisations and individuals.
UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
This is the official site for the IPO (formerly known as the UK Patent Office) which is responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) rights such as trademarks in the UK. This site is useful for checking whether any logos or brands used in your film are registered trademarks and therefore need clearance.
Downloadable Contracts/Release Forms
Current TV: Resources
Current TV, the global digital television channel showcasing short factual films and documentaries, has downloadable video and music clearance forms in the resources section on their website.
Scriptwriter Magazine: film & option agreement
Scriptwriter Magazine provide information on putting together a simple film agreement and sample film & option agreements in the FAQ section of their website.
Shooting People: Resources
Shooting People, the independent filmmaking community, has a resources section on the website with downloadable contracts and release forms. Contracts include: paid cast and crew contracts; unpaid collaboration contracts and documentary, location, footage and photography release forms. Note - you need to be a paid-up member to access these resources.
British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is an independent, non-governmental organisation responsible for classifying the ratings of films and videos in the UK.
Ofcom: Guidance on Watershed
Ofcom is the regulator for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services. On the Ofcom website there is guidance on the watershed system for films being broadcast on television.
Health & Safety
Bectu: health and safety
BECTU (The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union) provides health and safety bulletins and craft cards.
Health & Safety Commission
The Health and Safety Commission is responsible for health and safety regulation in Great Britain. Information on health and safety issues and legislation relating to film production can be found on their website under E for Entertainment.
UK Film Council: Film Insurance
The UK Film Council, the government-backed strategic agency for film in the UK, website has useful background information on insurance. It has details of directories and search engines that will provide information on insurance companies specialising in film.
**Please note it has recently been announced that the UKFC will cease operating in April 2012, when the BFI will assume the majority of its responsibilities. More information about this will be included here when it becomes available.**
Legal 500 - solicitors directory
For solicitors specialising in film law in your area search under film and television law at:
UK Film Council: Locations
The UK Film Council, the government-backed strategic agency for film in the UK, website has useful information on finding locations and getting clearances to film in public spaces.The local screen agency often has a locations manager who can advise you on regional locations available for filming.
www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/locations**Please note it has recently been announced that the UKFC will cease operating in April 2012, when the BFI will assume the majority of its responsibilities. More information about this will be included here when it becomes available.**
Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO)
The Irish Music Rights Organisation issues licences to those wishing to use music of its members - songwriters, composers and music publishers.
This is the official website of the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society)- PRS(Performing Rights Society) Alliance. The MCPS exists to collect and pay royalties to its members when their music is recorded and made available to the public. You may wish to contact them for guidance on music clearance and access to music libraries. The PRS collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance of musical works. You may need to contact them if seeking clearance for usage of live footage of music in your film.
Features an extensive online library of licensed music and sound effects, available for download or delivery by CD or hard drive. Individual license options are available or 'blanket licenses' for multiple usage or production companies.
NortStar Music provide information on music publishing and all its associated areas including MCPS/PRS, writing for film, synchronisation, contracts, fees, royalties, accounting and collection.
Other Legal Resources
Medialex publish a series of Guidebooks written by media lawyers and business specialists on topics ranging from film finance to essential law for writers and screenwriters. These are available for purchase directly from the Medialex website.
Stock Footage Libraries
BBC Motion Gallery
Instant access to thousands of extraordinary HD video clips.
Britfilms.com: Archives & Libraries
The British Council run website, Britfilms.com, has a list of archives and libraries in its resources section.
The Image Bank by Getty Images
Kemps directory: Stock footage libraries
Website Registration & Data Protection
ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. The website has a list of accredited registrars offering public domain name registration who are based in the UK.
Information Commissioner's Office
The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK's independent authority set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. The website provides advice on data protection which is important to consider if you're setting up your own website.
JISC: Legal Information Service
JISC Legal is a free information service offering legal information to further and higher education relating to the use of information and communications technologies. Their website provides an introduction to Data Protection, and the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) guidance on data protection.
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