Published: 7th June 2016

BBFC Asserts its IP Rights

The BBFC has asserted its IP rights against an online music video channel.

U Music TV Limited (which is in no way related to Universal Music or UMTV), wrongly claimed that all its content had been rated U and PG when in fact none of its content carried a BBFC age rating.  It also made unauthorised use of BBFC classification symbols.  On legal advice, the BBFC wrote to the channel to assert its IP rights. The channel has now removed all uses of the BBFC symbols, all references to BBFC Classification Guidelines and all claims to an association with the BBFC.  It has also given undertakings against future breaches of BBFC intellectual property rights.

David Austin Chief Executive, BBFC, said: “The BBFC actively protects its IP and we are pleased to confirm the offending claims and uses of the BBFC Classification symbols have now been removed. Illegitimate use of BBFC age ratings is potentially confusing to consumers, particularly as the BBFC's symbols are widely licensed for use by online VoD platforms   and for certain online music videos submitted to us for classification. Misleading consumers into believing content is classified by the BBFC is potentially damaging to our reputation and to the high levels of trust the public places in BBFC classifications.”

Research* carried out by the BBFC in 2015 found that 85% of parents consider it important to have consistent classification online and offline, while online classification checking is now approaching the level of checking undertaken by parents for cinema films, with 81% checking age ratings for VOD content. 

The BBFC licenses its age ratings and Classification symbols to VoD platforms carrying content classified by the BBFC. It also gives permission in certain circumstances for use of its symbols for other purposes, if relevant disclaimers and terms of use are agreed in advance.

More information about licensing BBFC Classification symbols for VoD content is available on the BBFC website.