Addleshaws plays star role advising Filmbank on new screening licence

Addleshaw Goddard has landed Filmbank as a new client after advising the film distribution company on an innovative new licence.

Media partner Euan Lawson led the team advising Filmbank on the new Public Video Screening Licence (PVSL), launched in July. The licence is designed to help organisations and businesses such as schools, retailers and churches show films to members and customers.

Addleshaws picked up the work from longstanding client Warner Brothers.

In-house lawyers from Warner were involved with Filmbank, which is a joint venture between Warner and Columbia Tristar. The in-house team recomm-ended Addleshaws for the PVSL project.

Under the terms of the PVSL, organisations that would previously have needed to buy a separate screening licence each time they wanted to show a film can now obtain an all-encompassing licence for a year. Films bought or rented from retailers can then be shown to audiences of less than 250 any amount of times.

Movies covered by the licence include those produced by Warner, Sony, Buena Vista, Pathé and Metro Goldwyn Mayer, and range from classics such as Casablanca to more recent releases such as Pirates of the Caribbean.

Lawson said: “Clearly, you’re trying to draft a licensing arrangement that’s simple and easily understandable. We worked very closely with the in-house lawyers to try and crack out what they wanted to do.”