About AVLA

What is a collective management organisation?

Collective management organisations (CMOs) are entities created and managed by rights-holders or their representatives in order to license their protected works, collect royalties and distribute revenues stemming from the use of these works.

As a not-for-profit CMO, AVLA is governed by strict policies that emphasize efficiency, accountability and compliance with UK and international legislation. These policies are published on our website, along with our results. You are welcome to consult our annual and transparency reports.

Our purpose is to make sure that the rights-holders who mandate us to represent them – individuals and companies – receive the royalties they are owed, which is why transparency and responsibility are our core values. We are under the scrutiny of our members, a supervisory board, external auditors and public authorities.

Who are the members of AVLA?

Our founding members – AGICOA, ALCS, BECS, DACS, Directors UK and PICSEL – are all not-for-profit CMOs representing different categories of rights-holders: producers, authors, performers, directors and visual artists involved in the creation of audiovisual works.

Who does AVLA represent?

AVLA represents the broadest and most varied community of creators of audiovisual works, comprising multiple categories of rights-holders:

  • Producers: We represent more than any other UK organisation, with over 16,000 production companies – from big studios to small indies – on our books.
  • Writers: We act on behalf of around 115,000 writers of TV/film scripts and underlying literary works, giving us near-comprehensive coverage.
  • Directors: We are mandated by the vast majority of working TV and film directors in the UK – around 8,000 in total.
  • Performers: We collect royalties for around 30,000 actors, stunt performers and other entertainers, representing the overwhelming majority of British audiovisual performers whose works have been recorded.
  • Visual artists: We license works for a huge number of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers and other visual artists.

AVLA encompasses all existing CMOs dealing with audiovisual works in the UK. Moreover, our member organisations have reciprocal representation agreements with a network of counterparts abroad, which expands our coverage even further.

Where does the money go?

Almost all of the licence fees we collect are passed on to the rights-holders we represent. For example, for a film, the royalties will go to the production company that financed and distributed it, the screenwriters and actors, the director, and the people who designed the logo and posters.

As a not-for-profit organisation, we retain only a small portion of these revenues to cover our operating costs. And because we are a member-led organisation, these costs are strictly controlled.

By taking out the AVLA licence, hospitality accommodation businesses are directly helping to maintain a vibrant audiovisual sector, in the UK and beyond. The royalties we collect help to finance the production of new films, series, documentaries and other TV shows, and to sustain tens of thousands of workers and companies involved in the process.

The AVLA licence

Why is there a new licence?

Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, guesthouses and other hospitality accommodation businesses derive value from offering TV channels to their guests. UK and international law recognise that the creators of copyright-protected audio-visual works in the likes of films, series, documentaries, cartoons and other shows, e.g. producers, authors, performers, directors and visual artists (“Audio-visual Rightsholders”) should be fairly compensated when their works are communicated to the public.

Thanks to copyright protection, rightsholders are able to benefit from the exploitation of their copyright works. In fact, copyright is the basis on which the creative industries exist and can develop further.

The Copyright Act 1956 already recognised that the communication to the public of audio-visual content (e.g. films, series, TV programmes, etc.) in the UK is restricted by the copyright in such work. It is based on that Act that collecting societies dealing with music have for decades been able to licence the music in broadcasts communicated to the public. Following a change to copyright legislation in the UK, introduced in June 2016 (Section 72 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988), UK law now also recognises the rights of Audio-visual Rightsholders when their works are communicated to the public. Consequently, businesses now require to obtain the permission of Audio-visual Rightsholders to communicate their copyright works to the public in their premises.

The AVLA licence is a simple solution to facilitate this process: establishments can clear the rights to both an extremely large number of titles, as well as to various categories of Audio-Visual Rightsholders.

I subscribe to pay TV and I already have another licence. Is that enough?

No. Licences issued by other organisations do not replace the AVLA licence, and vice versa. If, at your establishment, you offer your guests TV channels (whether free-to-air or subscription-based networks) containing works from the AVLA repertoire, you will need to get the AVLA licence – even if you have already obtained other licences. Otherwise, you would be infringing the intellectual property rights of our rights-holders.

I rent out a studio apartment to tourists. Do I need the AVLA licence?

Probably yes. You will need the AVLA licence if your establishment has TVs that could show television programmes containing works of our repertoire. You do not need the licence if there are no TVs on your premises.


Does the AVLA licence cover all films, series and other shows?

The AVLA licence does not cover all programmes shown on every TV channel. Our extensive repertoire contains a vast number of films, series and other TV shows. But it does not encompass all works or all types of content. For instance, the AVLA licence does not cover:

  • every film, series, documentary, cartoon or other TV show in existence (for instance, most Thai productions are not represented by AVLA)
  • sports, news and reporting of current affairs, weather forecasts, advertising, etc.
  • the rights managed by other licensors (such as musical works and some broadcaster’s productions)
  • subscription VOD, pay-per-view, streaming services and other uses.


Do I pay less if my guesthouse only has TVs in the bedrooms?

Yes. The AVLA licence is very simple. There are two separate options, and you can select either or both depending on where audiovisual content is broadcast in your establishment. So, for instance, if you only have TVs or screens in your bedrooms, you should indicate the number of rooms and specify that there are no TVs or screens in public areas. Once you have provided some other basic information, your licence fee will be calculated, taking into account any discounts and concessions that might apply.

Can I find out what the AVLA licence would cost me?

The AVLA licence is based on a few simple and objective criteria: the number of bedrooms and public areas with TVs or screens, and the number of months of operation per year. Discounts and concessions will be applied automatically.

You can enter the relevant information and the system will show how much the licence would cost you, including any applicable discounts. It takes less than two minutes to get your result, and there is no commitment to buy the licence. The information you enter will not be stored unless you decide to proceed.

How has AVLA set its fees?

We have set our tariffs after extensive analysis, taking into consideration numerous factors and the views of external experts to ensure they are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. Our aim is to guarantee a correct remuneration for rights-holders without unduly burdening operators.

At AVLA, we firmly believe in building a positive and collaborative relationship with the hospitality sector. Our tariffs are specifically designed to be simple, accessible, easy to understand and transparent. To avoid confusion, we apply similar criteria to those currently used by other UK licensors (such as number of bedrooms). We also offer various cumulative discounts.

Why does AVLA charge higher standard tariffs than other licensors?

Our tariffs might appear to be higher at first glance, but this impression could well be misleading. It is important to consider the following factors:

  • We have by far the largest repertoire, comprising rights for various categories of rights-holders. As a result, the AVLA licence gives you much more comprehensive coverage.
  • We apply a simple, flexible commercial policy with no hidden costs. For instance, we only charge for the exact number of bedrooms with TVs or screens (as opposed to blocks of rooms), and only for the months your establishment is actually open (if open for two months of the year, for example, you only pay the licence fee for those months). This concession makes a big difference for establishments that cater to seasonal trade. We also offer several cumulative discounts, including significant reductions for small businesses.

When you look at the final cost of the AVLA licence and what it encompasses, you will likely find that it ends up being more cost-effective than you thought.