Clear copyright materials

Business Sectors (Suites): Production (FILM and TV)
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 31 Mar 2019


This Standard involves researching and contacting copyright owners, and obtaining clearances as directed by producers. It is about carrying out negative checks, and maintaining accurate records of all agreements.

Works may include literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works. It may also include sound recordings, films, broadcasts, sports, satellite and cable programmes and published editions. This Standard also covers works broadcast or published on the internet.

This Standard is for those involved with clearing copyright materials such as Production Co-ordinators.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. clarify what rights and territories need to be cleared for broadcasters and co-funders 2. identify how copyright regulations affect the use of materials 3. consult with relevant people and documents to identify the materials to be cleared the context in which they are to be used and the extent of their use 4. use appropriate sources to identify the source of copyright  5. contact owners and licence holders to obtain their terms, conditions and the likely costs in line with organisational procedures 6. obtain information and advice from specialist sources where materials are subject to complex or unusual copyright regulations 7. obtain clearances and permissions as agreed with producers  8. undertake negative checks on character names, addresses, professional status and business names 9. keep accurate records of all clearances, and their contracts, and of all negative checks to be passed to producers, broadcasters or co-funders 10. confirm clearances with legal departments of broadcasters, studios and funders when required

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. what the different types of copyright are and what sort of materials they apply to 2. copyright and contractual requirements which relate to the use of proprietary materials from libraries and from other outside sources 3. people and documents to consult about copyright requirements including scripts, directors, producers 4. how to identify the extent of use including audio materials, visual materials and the duration and full, accurate information of any musical pieces that are required 5. sources of information copyright ownership 6. the rights, territories and clearances required by the broadcaster and all parties 7. what should be covered in negotiating the terms and conditions of use of copyright materials 8. how the use of material in the context of the programme affects copyright regulation 9. accepted rates for copyright fees 10. sources of information on professional associations with whom to clear negative checks 11. the differences in clearances for title music and incidental music 12. how to maintain and store accurate documentation of all clearances, contracts and negative checks 13. how to confirm that all clearances are in place


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation

Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset)

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Production Managers, Production Coordinator

SOC Code



Copyright, Legal, Clearances