Archive, rights and clearances

Please see General term 6 and Special term 3.2 of the Programme production agreement (PPA) for clearance requirements.  

The Programme production agreement (PPA) will make it clear which BBC uses need to be pre-paid within the licence fee and which BBC uses should be clearable subject to further payment. These repeat/use costs must be as approved by the BBC (for the avoidance of doubt, standard union rates are approved) and recorded in the Schedule of residuals which the production is required to deliver to the BBC at the end of production. The production should therefore establish that it is possible to get these rights and what they cost, even if under the terms of the PPA the production is not required to pay for them straight away.

For any queries in relation to clearances please refer in the first instance to the production management or Business Affairs team.

See the How we do business page for more information about the Programme production agreement and Schedule of residuals

 

Contributors, key agreements and other third party agreements

PACT model contracts are available on the PACT website for producers, directors, presenters, locations, stills, consultants etc and may generally be used without BBC prior approval unless they are a Key agreement (which is applicable if the agreement column for a Key approval is ticked on the Commissioning specification) or are being varied in a way which does not comply with the Programme production agreement. Any variation to the provisions set out in the General or Special terms can only be made with BBC consent.

For any Key agreements, BBC consent to the proposed agreement terms and/or fee must be secured before signing. In giving its approval, the BBC will only be commenting on issues affecting the BBC (for example additional payments such as repeats and entitlements to net, compliance with BBC policies and any reserved rights that may undermine the General terms) and not on any other aspects that may affect the independent production company but not the BBC. Please note that approval of a draft agreement by business affairs does not imply approval of any proposed credit (such approval is an editorial matter). Please let the BBC have an early draft of these agreements so that any comments can be incorporated at the early stage of negotiations.

It remains the responsibility of the independent production company to obtain independent legal advice with regard to all other aspects of the proposed third party agreements and their suitability with regard to the overall terms of the Programme production agreement and the independent production company's requirements generally.

See the Finance and invoicing page for information about the DUK framework.

 

Use of BBC archive

Independent production companies can make use of the wealth of resources from BBC Archive. BBC Archive holdings include the BBC TV and Radio programme archives, music, news and photograph archive and a sheet music collection along with programme documentation (scripts, programme files etc).

When using BBC Archive for chargeable services, independent production companies must quote a credit card number along with the usual company details. Please note that internal charge codes can not be used and services will be directly charged for via the credit card. Independent production companies should therefore make their status clear when contacting BBC Archive. Costs involved in using BBC Archive’s services should be budgeted as they must be covered by the primary rights licence fee.

Please note: freelancers who are not attached to an independent production company or BBC programme team should see BBC Motion Gallery for access to BBC archive material.

Visit the BBC Archive website to find out more and to download a user guide for independent production companies. This document will be updated at the end of May to reflect changes to the rate card as of 1 June 2016.

Information about licencing and rights for BBC Archive content can be found below.

 

BBC redux and the digital archive

BBC Redux is an online content archive system used to store BBC television and radio programming from 2007 onwards.

The Digital Archive is an online archive of all content that has been delivered to the BBC via digital routes since October 2014.

Access to Redux and the Digital Archive is available to independent production companies and BBC Studios teams who have a confirmed BBC commission or who are under contracted development. Access cannot be granted for speculative development. A BBC commissioner must approve access, informed by the following criteria.

Access can be granted:

  • for archive based programmes where access to the BBC archive is essential for research
  • where regular access to the BBC archive is required for an ongoing returning series or strand for the research of past programmes
  • where a company or department are confirmed as eligible for a competitive tender, for the duration of the tender application
  • in a small number of cases, where the commissioner feels the volume or nature of commissions from a key supplier requires regular access to the BBC archive on an ongoing basis, and this is the most efficient means of delivering that

For access to either system, producers will need to include the following information in the application:

  • the name of the commissioner sponsoring access
  • the title of the programme or series the user is working on
  • the name of the executive producer
  • the reason access is required

Register for BBC Redux

Register for The Digital Archive

 

Using clips from other BBC programmes

Productions are required to clear clips for public service rights as defined in the Programme production agreement.

Productions are entitled to use clips taken from other BBC programmes (made or commissioned by the BBC) subject to certain limitations (for example, the restrictions relating to clips featuring sexual content or clip durations laid out in talent union agreements).

Use of comedy and drama clips are restricted to a maximum of two clips per episode with strict limits on duration due to the relevant underlying rights frameworks.

Online rights must be cleared separately for material from another programme or bought in footage.

For assistance in relation to specific advice on short form video or music rights and clearance please refer in the first instance to the business affairs manager.

Please note: freelancers who are not attached to an independent production company or BBC programme team should see BBC Motion Gallery for access to BBC archive material.

See the BBC Archives website for further information applicable to independent production companies.

 

Clearance for non-BBC archive

Archive houses are generally familiar with the nature of the 'public service rights' required for BBC commissions. If there any difficulties obtaining rights from any archive house please inform the business affairs manager. Any archive footage that cannot be cleared for the rights the BBC needs should not be included in the programme.

 

BBC Store

See the BBC Store section on the How we do business page along with the Business framework.

 

Commercial exploitation of programme clips

See the Business framework on the How we do business page for full information about commercial exploitation of programme clips.

 

Programme release (holdback) policy

See the Policies and guidelines page to download the Programme release policy for secondary television and commercial video-on-demand programming in the UK as well as the Programme release request form the Video on Demand programme on release form.

 

Digital release policy

The Digital release policy outlines how producers may use programme extracts online for promotional and commercial purposes. Visit the Policies and guidelines page to find out more and download the full policy.

 

Library sales and holdback policy

A library sale is when extracts or rushes from a programme are used in another audio visual work. See the Policies page to download guidance.

 

Music clearance

Blanket music license

PRS for Music is a collecting society which represents music publishers, songwriters and composers.

PPL is a collecting society which represents record companies and recording artists.

PRS licence

The BBC has a blanket licence agreement with PRS for Music which allows any registered songs/music to be used in BBC Television programmes without individual licences being obtained. If the BBC has funded more than 10% of the production budget, the production can make use of the BBC’s PRS for Music’s blanket agreement and will not need to make individual payment for any songs/ music which are part of the PRS’s repertoire.

Some songs/music will fall outside the scope of the blanket licence agreement - so no song/music should be included in a programme without checking the registration first. If a piece of music is not registered with PRS for Music then an individual licence will need to be negotiated with the composer directly, and paid for by your production budget.

It should be specifically noted that songs by the Doors (Jim Morrison/Ray Manzarek/John Densmore/Robert Krieger), Journey (Cain/Perry/Schon), Michael Jackson and Neil Young are NOT included in this blanket agreement (including cover versions and tracks using samples) and cannot be used.

Producers must check each title on the Works Search on the PRS website in conjunction with the BBC’s Indie Fastclear process (Autoclear (Fastclear) before using any songs/music in BBC productions.

Commercial music used in a production which has been cleared under the BBC's music blanket agreements can be used for BBC Public Service usages, including bbc.co.uk and on BBC’s YouTube channel.

Please also note a recent restriction on the use of songs/music represented by North American Music Publishers which will impact on any Television exploitation of your production in the event that BBC Worldwide holds the distribution rights in a programme.

Please note that further additional clearances are required should BBC Worldwide require North American DVD/DTO rights.

For any further queries on North American Music publishing and excluded music please contact the Music Copyright team.

PPL licence

The BBC has a blanket licence agreement with PPL which allows registered sound recordings to be used in BBC Television programmes without individual licences being obtained. The production can make use of the BBC’s PPL blanket agreement and will not need to make individual payment for any songs/ music which are part of the PPL’s repertoire.

Some recordings will fall outside the scope of the blanket licence agreement - so no recording should be included in a programme without checking the registration first. If a piece of music is not registered with PPL then an individual licence will need to be negotiated with the Artist directly, and paid for by your production budget.

Producers must check each title on the repertoire search on the PPL website in conjunction with the BBC’s Indie Fastclear process (Autoclear - Fastclear) before using any recordings in BBC productions.

Commercial recordings used in a production which has been cleared under the BBC's music blanket agreements can be used for BBC Public Service usages, including bbc.co.uk, on BBC’s YouTube channel and for BBC Store. Download the Indie store clearance manual (PDF).

However it should be noted that there are restrictions on recordings by The Beatles/John Lennon and Film/TV Original soundtracks for BBC Public Service Rights and BBC Store.

In all cases, the online automated music clearance system Autoclear (Fastclear) should be used to check clearance.

All productions should contact the Music Copyright team at the start of their production in advance of recording any music into their programmes to get specific guidance on music use including Live/In Vision Performances, and obtain advice and guidance in respect of music blankets and BBC WW investment. Contact the Music Copyright team for more information and queries

Catherine Grimes, Music Copyright Manager, can offer specific advice and guidance in respect of music blankets/BBC Worldwide investments.

 

Music reporting

Autoclear (Fastclear)

If the BBC is funding 10% or more of the production then the online automated music clearance system Autoclear (FastClear) should be used to clear music in connection with the programme, as long as  the necessary music reporting information is also provided  via the music reporting form (see below).

Go to Music Autoclear (FastClear)

Enter the following username and password:

  • Username: fastclear
  • Password: iwantmusic

 

Music cue form (music reporting form)

For commissions contracted after Nov 15 2016 productions will be required to complete production reporting via the online system Silvermouse. Those commissioned before this point should contact the relevant delivery area to discuss.

All independent production companies making content for the BBC must complete and submit a Music cue form (previously referred to as Music reporting form) within 14 days of the programme transmission date to enable the BBC to meet music copyright society deadlines.

Reporting is required to be ‘as broadcast’ and therefore must be carried out post transmission. The Music cue form must be submitted even if a programme contains no music and the ‘No music is included in this programme’ box must be ticked within Silvermouse.

All music and all commercial recordings of speech and commercial sound effects must be reported, no matter how short the duration. This includes music in promotions/background promotions, live or locally recorded, music picked up on location such as crowds singing in the street, even presenters humming two bars of Happy Birthday. Failure to do this will put the BBC in breach of the agreements with the copyright societies.

The responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of music reporting lies with programme makers.

The BBC are legally required to report to the societies the details of all music used in programmes. Information from the Music cue form is also used by the TV Library (INFAX) to assist with programme searches and by commercials rights to clear for secondary exploitation.

The Music Reporting Unit (MRU) is the central facility for collecting and processing these details. Find contact details for the Music Reporting Unit on the contacts page

 

New users to Silvermouse can obtain a login by following the link www.silvermouse.com then clicking ‘New User’. Existing Silvermouse users (including for other broadcasters) can use the same login details and do not need to request a new login.

For technical support queries please contact: silvermousehelpdesk@silvermouse.com

Independent production companies with non-technical support queries should contact: the Indie Delivery Unit or the Children’s Media Hub.

Non-technical support queries from BBC Studios should be directed to: silvermouse.support@bbc.co.uk.

Watch and download BBC Academy user guides for Silvermouse.

For commissions after November 15 2016 submit via Silvermouse.
For commissions pre-November 15 2016 download the Music cue form from the delivery timeline

 

Programme as completed (P as C) form

For commissions contracted after Nov 15 2016 productions will be required to complete production reporting via the online system Silvermouse. Those commissioned before this point should contact the relevant delivery area to discuss delivery methods.

The Programme as completed form (sometimes referred to as the P as C form) provides information about the content, music and contributors in a programme and together with the Music cue form is the complete written record of a programme’s content and ensures correct copyright payments are made.

It is therefore essential that the Programme as completed form records details of any and all restrictions on use of the programme (for example any restrictions on clip use in any contributor contract, as pre-approved by the BBC).

Productions completing production reporting via the online system Silvermouse will find that information included in the previous Programme as completed form has now been divided into three separate forms: the contributors, front page and copyrights forms.

It is mandatory that the Programme as completed form or related information on Silvermouse is submitted within two weeks of transmission or earlier if all data is available.

For all other queries please contact the Indie Delivery Unit or Childrens Media Hub.

New users to Silvermouse can obtain a login by following the link www.silvermouse.com then clicking ‘New User’. Existing Silvermouse users (including for other broadcasters) can use the same login details and do not need to request a new login.

For technical support queries please contact: silvermousehelpdesk@silvermouse.com

For BBC non-technical support system queries please contact silvermouse.support@bbc.co.uk

 

Watch and download BBC Academy user guides for Silvermouse.

For commissions after November 15 2016 submit via Silvermouse
For commissions pre-November 15 2016 download the Programme as completed form from the delivery timeline

 

Schedule of residuals 

See the How we do business page for information about the Schedule of residuals.