Can I use BBC content?

Page updated: 26 September 2017

We receive a large number of requests from people and organisations that wish to use BBC content, including whole programmes, clips, photos and content from bbc.co.uk.

When you need permission


To use any of the following things…
• Whole shows
• Clips
• Photos
• Content
• Our logo and other branding
• Anything else that’s protected by copyright…you’ll need to get permission.

Although sometimes we won't be able to give you permission

...because we don't always own the copyright.

Our content often includes other people's content. For instance, a TV show might feature images, video and music that belong to artists, actors and musicians. Or we might only have a licence to broadcast a show, and it’s the production company who owns it.

There is some content we can give you permission to use, though.

We frequently get requests about the topics below. Read on to find out what we can give you permission to use.

Can I play a whole TV or radio programme to an audience?

That depends on where you are and what you want to use it for.

If you’re in the UK and it’s for educational purposes

You may be able to use whole programmes or clips for educational purposes if your school, college or university has an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence. Visit the ERA website for more info.

You can also buy some TV programmes for educational use from BBC Active.

Visit the BBC Active Video for Learning website for more info.

For anything else, get in touch here to tell us what you want to do, including:

  • Who you are
  • Details of your organisation (if relevant), including how you're funded.

Can I use images or screenshots?

You’ll need to ask permission. Here’s how...

To ask about buying screen grabs, email the BBC Motion Gallery Sales team.

To ask about using photos from the BBC News website email the News Website Permissions team.

To ask about using any photos we own, email the BBC Photo Library.

Bear in mind…

We don’t own most of the photos and pictures on the BBC News site. But whoever does is often credited in the corner. This is why we won’t let you use photos and pictures from BBC News for commercial purposes.

Can I get a transcript of a TV programme?

We don’t make transcripts of our programmes so can’t provide them. Sorry about that.

But there’s lots of useful info about programmes on the BBC Programmes website.

Can I use clips from programmes?

If you’re in the UK, you may be able to use clips for educational purposes if your school, college or university has an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence. Visit the ERA website for more info.

You may also be able to use clips under the educational exceptions to copyright. Visit the GOV.UK 'Intellectual Property - Exceptions to copyright' page to find out more.

You can buy clips for educational use by emailing BBC Worldwide Learning at bbcworldwidelearning@bbc.com.

You can ask about buying clips for commercial use by emailing the BBC Motion Gallery Sales team at BBC.MotionGallerySales@gettyimages.com.

Still can’t find an answer to your question? Get in touch to ask permission here. Remember to tell us:

  • Who you are
  • About your organisation (if relevant), including how you're funded.

Can I buy a copy of a programme I appeared in?

You might be able to buy a copy. Find out how on our Contributor Access application page.

Can I use the BBC logo and branding?

That depends. Best check the BBC Branding website to find out for sure.

Can I reuse content from a BBC website?

You normally need to ask permission.

To ask about using content from the BBC News website email the News Website Permissions team.

To ask about using content from any other BBC sites, get in touch here.

Remember to include info about what you want to do with the content and where you’d like to use it.

Bear in mind…

There may be a fee to pay.

Can I use BBC metadata?

That depends what it’s for…

For people

You’re not allowed to pluck metadata from our content.

For business

You’ll need a licence to use our metadata. Apply for a metadata licence here.

And you can’t use the free metadata service. Sorry about that.

Is it OK to link to the BBC?

Yes, it’s ok for you to link to our website URL so long as you don’t use the BBC logo. If you wish to use the BBC logo there’s more information here.

Please also note that over time our website output changes so what you link to may have changed or may not be available after a certain period of time.

Can I reuse BBC content for my business?

You’ll need to get our permission first for any business use, and you might have to pay a fee. Ask for permission to use BBC content here.

When is it a “business use”?

It’s a business use if you’re using any of our services:

Substantially to do your job – as an employee, contractor or consultant

For commercial purposes – to make a profit

For educational, non-profit, charitable or government uses

There are extra rules for businesses about…

… Using metadata

You’ll need a licence to use our metadata. Apply for a metadata licence by emailing: carriageenquiries@bbc.co.uk.

… Using BBC iPlayer

People on your premises can watch iPlayer programmes on demand.

But you’ll need a TV Licence if people are watching programmes live on iPlayer. For more on that, visit tvlicensing.co.uk.

And you’ll need permission if you want to use iPlayer to play a programme or clip to an audience. Ask for permission to play iPlayer to an audience here.

You’re not allowed to charge people to use iPlayer.

For Shareables

You must stick to our usual rules. And that means you can't charge others for using our Shareables. If you put them on a site that charges for content you have to say they're free-to-view.

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