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UK media laws: Related statutes


Page still under construction; subject to revision

See also Quotas and levies.
Editorial comments, not part of the statute.

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ELECTRIC LIGHTING ACT 1882
45 & 46 Vict. c.56
§26 requires that electric cables shall not interfere with existing telegraphic lines.

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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT 1933
23 Geo. 5 C. 37
§29(1) makes an exemption from provisions restricting employment of children and young people 'in relation to a person who has attained the age of twelve years taking part in a performance, whether of the nature of an entertainment or not, which is being broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation, so long as the public are not admitted thereto on payment'. Choristers were similarly exempted.

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THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1933
23 & 24 Geo. 5 c.51
Permitted electors to vote in referendums on Sunday cinema opening. Repealed by Local Government Act 1972.

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THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT 1936
26 Geo. 5 & 1 Edw. 8 c. 49
§226(3) allowed local authorities to close baths and washhouses in winter and to use them for other purposes but allows no exemption from the requirement to obtain a licence for film shows, etc.

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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (SCOTLAND) ACT 1937
1 Edw. 8 & 1 Geo.6 c. 37
§38(1) makes the same exemption for BBC performers as the above 1933 Act.

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PUBLIC UTILITIES STREET WORKS ACT 1950
13 & 14 Geo.6 c.39
Establishes 'The Street Works Code' which is a standard procedure for all works which affect streets and public roads, including provision for public safety, arrangements for transport services, protection for sewers, drains, tunnels, etc, as well as procedures for plans and sections of the work to be carried out.

Act supersedes some provisions of early telegraphy laws but is not specifically concerned with telecommunications.

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THE CUSTOMS AND EXCISE ACT 1952
15&16 Geo.6 & Eliz.2 c.44
Allows exemption from duty on temporary imports by specifying SI

SI
1958/1975 Import Duty Reliefs (No.3) Order
1958/1979 Import Duty Reliefs (No.7) Order
1958/2141 Films (Temporary Importation) Regulations
1962/918 Temporary Importation (Process and Films) (Amendment) Regulations

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THE DEFAMATION ACT 1952
15 & 16 Geo. 6 & 1 Eliz. 2 c. 66
1 Broadcast statements are considered to be publication in permanent form for the purposes of libel and slander actions.

9 Extension of certain defences to broadcasting. Broadcasters may quote parliamentary proceedings under the terms of the Parliamentary Papers Act 1840, which extended the 'privilege' to the press. The defence is that quotations are made without malice and on matters of 'public concern'.

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COPYRIGHT ACT 1956
4 & 5 Eliz. 2 c.74
14 Copyright in television broadcasts and sound broadcasts subsists in BBC or ITA [later IBA, later still ITC] programmes [but not those of other broadcasters] on the same terms as all other parts of the copyright law: ie for 50 years from the date of the first transmission; retransmission is just that—not a new transmission.

There shall be no 'making, other than for private purposes, a cinematograph film of it or a copy of such a film' [the anomaly, of course, is the absence of any mention of videotape], nor shall anyone cause it 'to be seen and/or heard by a paying audience'.

In this section two definitions of television are supplied. One says that it is 'a sequence of images sufficient to be seen as a moving picture' [does that encompass videotape?], the other has a sub-section to itself and exhibits some wonderful legal convolutions of language:

'(10) In this Act, "television broadcast" means visual images broadcast by way of television, together with any sounds broadcast for reception along with those images, and "sound broadcast" means sounds broadcast otherwise than as part of a television broadcast; and for the purposes of this Act, a television broadcast or sound broadcast shall be taken to be made by the body by whom, at the time when, and from the place from which, the visual images or sounds in question, or both, as the case may be, are broadcast.'

40 Broadcasts of sound recordings and cinematograph films, and diffusion of broadcast programmes

It shall be no breach of copyright to receive broadcasts of television and sound programmes or broadcasts of films [note the distinction] nor to receive a television or sound programme via a relay service.

48 Interpretation

(2) Broadcasts are assumed to be by means of wireless telegraphy as defined by the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.
(3) diffusion defined.
(4) reception defined.
(5) diffusion does not constitute a performance.

Sch.5 Appointment of Television Copyright Organisations by British Broadcasting Corporation and Independent Television Authority

Allows BBC and ITA [later IBA, then ITC] to set up together or separately, copyright organisations to negotiate and grant licences for rights.

This was the first time that such definitions had been provided by law and, although the words now creak under the weight of new technology, they remain the basic definitions for most purposes.

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FINANCE ACT 1957
see Finance Act 1963

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THE HOUSE OF COMMONS DISQUALIFICATION ACT 1957
5&6 Eliz. 2 c. 20
Repealed by House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 and Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975.

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DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL PERFORMERS' PROTECTION ACT
1958 c??
see Performers Protection Act 1972

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THE ENTERTAINMENT DUTY ACT 1958
6&7 Eliz.2 c.9

Repealed by Finance Act 1960.

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THE OBSCENE PUBLICATIONS ACT 1959
7&8 Eliz.2 c.66
1 Test of obscenity. Specifically excludes 'anything done in the course of a cinematograph exhibition (within the meaning of the Cinematograph Act, 1952), other than one excluded from the Cinematograph Act 1909 by subsection (4) of section seven of that Act (which relates to exhibitions in private houses to which the public are not admitted), or to anything done in the course of television or sound broadcasting'.

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THE FINANCE ACT 1960
8 & 9 Eliz.2 c.44
Repealed Entertainments Duty Act 1958.

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THE CHARITIES ACT 1960
8 & 9 Eliz. 2 c.58
Repealed that part of Cinematograph Film Production (Special Loans) Act 1949 which allowed the National Film Finance Corporation to hold land. The repeal itself was repealed by the Education Act 1973.

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THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT 1961
9 & 10 Eliz. 2 c.64

PART III: Prevention and notification of disease.

40 Exclusion of children from places of entertainment or assembly. 'Including a cinematograph theatre'.

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FINANCE ACT 1963
1963 c.25
5 Repeal of Television Duty
Set up under Finance Act 1957, §2, repealed from the end of September 1963 as part of the general liberalisation of television, including abolition of limit on broadcasting hours in the same period.

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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT 1963
1963 c. 37
57 Newspaper and broadcast reports of proceedings involving children and young persons

Courts may direct reporters not to reveal some information, usually the name of defendants who are charged in juvenile courts.

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PERFORMERS PROTECTION ACT 1963
see Performers Protection Act 1972

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NEW TOWNS ACT 1965
NEW TOWNS (SCOTLAND) ACT 1968
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1971
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1972

1972 c.52; §209
Above four Acts refer to the effect on telegraphs when rights of way are lost through redevelopment or change of use of land.

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THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1966
1966 c. 42

SI
1968/170 Miscellaneous Fees (Variation) 0.
1978/1387 Fees for Cinematograph Licences (Variation) 0.

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THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1967
1967 c.80
§§92, 106(2)(e) and Sch.3 Part I increase fine for contravention of Cinematograph Act 1909 §3 from £20 plus £5 for each day of the offence to £200.

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REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1969
1969 c.15

9 Broadcasting during election.
There shall be no broadcast in which a candidate takes part without his consent in the period leading up to an election: five weeks before a local election, after the issue of the writ for a by-election or after the dissolution of parliament; nor shall there be any self-appointed substitutes.

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THE POST OFFICE ACT 1969
1969 c.48

Prior to this Act, a Post Office licence had been required under the BBC Charter.

Part IV: Control of programme distribution systems

3 (1) From the appointed day [1 October 1969], all functions vested in the Postmaster General are transferred to the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications.

89 Licensing of distribution systems.

(1) '...it shall not...be lawful, except under, and in accordance with, a written licence... for a system to be run for—
(a) the distribution in the United Kingdom, through the agency of energy of any of the kinds specified in subsection (2) below, of a programme of matter serving, by means of sounds or visual images (or both) , to inform persons of anything or to educate or entertain them; or
(h) the conveyance, through the agency of energy of any of the said kinds, of any such programme as aforesaid to a place in the United Kingdom to which members of the public have access (whether on payment or not) , for the purpose of its being presented there to members of the public.

(2) The said kinds of energy are electric, magnetic, electro-magnetic, electro-chemical and electro-mechanical.

(3) Contravention is an offence subject to a fine not exceeding £400.
(4) Does not apply to the Post Office [later British Telecom], the BBC or IBA ...
(5) nor to wireless telegraphy.

90 Provisions as to licences under section 89.

(1) A licence granted under the last foregoing section may be issued subject to such terms, provisions and limitations as the Minister may think fit.
(2) for any specified period,
(3) can be revoked or amended by the Minister [no provision made for appeals, nor even requirement the Minister's part to give any reasons].
(4) Payments to be made to the Minister shall be fixed by agreement with the Treasury,
(6) can be recovered in the courts if necessary
(9) and the revenue shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

91 Entry and search of premises.

92 Orders and regulations.

(1) Minister to exercise powers by statutory instrument,
(2) subject to annulment by either house of parliament.

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INCOME AND CORPORATION TAXES ACT 1970
1970 c.l0

157 Rent etc. payable in respect of electric line wayleaves.

Income from rent charged on relay service access taxed under Schedule D; payer of rent may deduct it for income tax purposes. Definition supplied of a radio relay service: 'retransmission by wire to their customers of broadcast programmes (which may or may not be television programmes) which the persons carrying on the service receive either by wire or by wireless from the British Broadcasting Corporation or from the persons outside the United Kingdom who broadcast the programmes in question'. [How very interesting!]

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THE MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT 1970
1970 c. 36

87 The merchant navy uniform

(5) Nothing in this section shall prohibit or restrict the use of a merchant navy uniform or any part of it for the purposes of any stage, film or television performance, unless the use is such as to bring the uniform into disrepute.

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THE COURTS ACT 1971
1971 c. 23
§§56(2)(4), Sch.9 Part I, Sch.II Part IV puts jurisdiction for hearings brought under Cinematograph Act 1952 under Quarter Sessions rather than Crown Court

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THE FIRE PRECAUTIONS ACT 1971
1971 c. 40

§§12(12)(a),(b) takes on responsibility for fire prevention in cinemas. Existing regulations under Cinematograph Acts 1909 to 1952 are to be construed as if under this Act but no new regulations are to be made under the Cinematograph Act 1952

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THE SUPERANNUATION ACT 1972
1972 c. 11

2 Pension schemes of various statutory bodies: removal of requirement to obtain Ministerial approval for certain determinations, etc. Bodies can make gratuities, etc. Covers British Film Fund Agency [under Cinematograph Films Act 1957]

(5) Power to Secretary of State to amend National Film Finance Corporation regulations or any repeal of Cinematograph Film Production (Special Loans) Act 1949. Act of 1949, Sch.6 is repealed in part.

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PERFORMERS PROTECTION ACT 1972
1972 c.32

§1 increases fines by Schedule

Sch. Fine for making films, broadcasts, without performer's consent—up from £50 to £400; also for relays and 'giving consent without authority'.

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FINANCE ACT 1972 1972 c.41

Part I. Value Added Tax established from 1 April 1973

15 Refund of tax in certain cases.

Makes distinction between tax on supply of goods and services for carrying on business and not for carrying on business in the case of, inter alia, British Broadcasting Corporation, Independent Television News Limited (also lighthouses, drainage boards, police, London Transport, etc). Refunds are allowed on part of input.

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THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972
1972 c. 70

PART IX: Functions

§204. Licensing: licensed premises, cinemas, theatres and refreshment houses.
(5) Outside Greater London, licences under the Cinematograph Act 1909 and Sunday Entertainment Act 1932 §1 shall be granted by district councils.

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THE HOUSE OF COMMONS DISQUALIFICATION ACT 1975
1975 c. 24

§10(2), Sch. 3 disqualifies members of certain bodies from sitting in the House of Commons; this includes members of the British Film Fund Agency, the National Film Finance Corporation and the Chairman of the Cinematograph Films Council.

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THE NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY DISQUALIFICATION ACT 1975
1975 c. 25

§5(2), Sch. 3 Part I disqualifies members of certain bodies from sitting in the Northern Ireland Assembly; this includes members of the National Film Finance Corporation and the Chairman of the Cinematograph Films Council.

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Page updated 11 September 2002
© David Fisher