TV listings and audio streaming licensing

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Some people seem to be interested in TV listings at the moment, and I've been investigating audio licensing too, so here's some shared knowledge that took some digging up. This is all just my interpretation of the agreements, and most of it applies to the UK only.

  • TV listings

  • XMLTV is an XML format for describing TV programme broadcasts. It is in the process of undergoing a major revision.

  • The XMLTV package allows you to download TV listings from web sites in a number of countries and turn them into XMLTV format. In the UK, the data comes from Ananova, who publish a file that is already in XMLTV format.

  • Broadcasting Dataservices are responsible for licensing TV listings for public usage in the UK. They have an FTP site from which anyone can download the current listings files, and you can do whatever you like with them for personal usage. However, this doesn't include BBC1, BBC2, ITV or Channel 4.

  • You're also allowed to freely publish highlights on a web page. This is limited to 3 programmes per channel per day. If you want to publish any more than this, you have to fill in an application form and pay £171 plus VAT per quarter, which covers the rights for most (though not all) channels.

  • Although Digiguide uses a closed format for their listings data (grr), you can embed their whole TV listings pages in your web site for free, as they have already paid the licensing fees.

  • Audio files

  • The MCPS and PRS have formed an alliance to license the use of musical works on web sites, with an agreement that only applies to streamed audio files, and currently runs to December 2003 (but will hopefully be extended). You have to fill in application forms and provide records of usage.

  • The royalty rate for licensing music for streaming is 8% of gross revenue, with a minimum of £443.56 (inc. VAT) per quarter for <10 hours of programming or £631 (inc. VAT) per quarter for >10 hours of programming.