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British government seeks to loosen rules on content

British venues may soon be able to show films and play recorded music without a licence, under a red-tape-cutting plan being prepared by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

A relaxation of the rules could lead to many new opportunities for digital out-of-home media operators and for venues, as locations which aren’t currently licensed to play music or show movies become free to do so.

The DCMS is conducting a public consultation into regulated entertainment, which also includes theatrical and dance performances, live music, and indoor sports.

It says that “we see no reason why recorded music needs to be licensed. If live music should be deregulated, as is our proposal, then we feel that the same principles should apply to recorded music, with the same controls and sanctions available to ensure that good practice is followed.”

It also plans to loosen the licensing of film, although it is anxious that the current system of age restrictions should remain enforced.

For both music and film, the more liberal regime will apply only when a venue has less than 5000 customers; very large events will still require licences under the proposed plans.

The consultation ends 3 December.


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