UK broadcasters agree on new copyright code of practice for proposals

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Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
BBC, ITV, Channel Four and Channel 5 among those adopting APC’s updated code of practice for handling submissions.

A group of the major organisations and unions in UK broadcasting has reviewed and adopted a new code of practice for handling film and programme proposals.

The code of practice was created by the Alliance for the Protection of Copyright (APC) to ensure proposals are treated in a fair and transparent manner to prevent copyright being infringed, and to give creators confidence when submitting proposals.

This latest version has been reviewed and agreed on by unions including the Society of Authors, and the major UK broadcasters: the BBC, ITV, Channel Four and Channel 5. It now applies to podcast and digital programs, as well as film, radio and television.

The code provides practical guidelines on handling submissions such as scripts, storylines, artwork and development documents. It clearly sets out the obligations of both those submitting and receiving proposals and includes guidelines on how to handle disputes.

The UK broadcasting industry depends on the free flow of original ideas and materials to thrive. With such widespread buy in from the industry, this code means that creators can now feel safe when submitting work that it will be handled in confidence and not shared indiscriminately.

A copy of the code of practice is below:

Copyright guidance

SoA members can access free advice on copyright through our dedicated advice team and read our guides on copyright.

Find out more about where we stand on copyright.


Creators’ work is the foundation of the largest sector within the UK economy. Yet their needs are repeatedly ignored when policy, economic and support decisions are being made.

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