Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall, and Stonehouse had been contacted by Local Care Homes that were concerned by correspondence they had received from MPLC who enforce licencing on behalf of many of Hollywood’s biggest film studios demanding they pay for licences to play DVDs for residents.
Christina has written to MPLC asking them to reverse their “Dickensian” decision which could lead to a £5 million bill for Care Homes across the UK. Christina has called on MPLC to avoid the mistakes of the miserly character of Scrooge from Charles Dickens' ‘A Christmas Carol’, urging the organization to “listen to the ghost of Christmas future” and adopt a more compassionate approach by exempting care homes in her constituency regarding DVD licence payments.
Christina made clear her concerns over the potential impact MPLC's demands could have on care homes, which already face financial pressures. She reaffirmed her commitment to working closely with affected local care homes to push for an end to MPLC's aggressive actions and to find a fair and equitable solution that respects the challenges faced by these vital institutions.
"While I may not expect MPLC to transform itself into a modern-day Bob Cratchit, I do hope that they will listen to the ghost of Christmas future and stop the Dickensian attempt to charge Care Homes a fee for showing old DVDs this Christmas." said McKelvie. "I have seen first-hand in my work as MSP the vital services provided to some of the most vulnerable members of our society by local Care Homes. The last thing the staff and residents deserve is having to worry about whether they can show an old copy of “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the common area."
McKelvie has also reached out to Disney, one of MPLC's clients, to discuss the situation and highlight the impact MPLC’s action could have on Disney’s brand.
"I understand that MPLC is in business to protect its clients' interests, but it seems to me that any reasonable person would recognise this action is disproportionate. In the Christmas spirit I would urge them to reconsider.
“If they are not minded to take this course of action however I remain dedicated to supporting the Care Homes in my constituency in their challenges to MPLC's demands. It is vital that residents are not threatened with removal of the ability to watch festive films if the Care Homes do not cough up for Hollywood. And the staff should not have to worry about whether their organisation will suffer a £5000 fine if they do not comply.”
“Commenting Rachel McCreath, Manager at Clinton House Nursing Home said:
“Christmas is supposed to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment for Care Home staff and residents. Instead, Care Homes across Scotland have been hit with threatening letters from MPLC operating on behalf of Hollywood companies demanding they pay for the privilege of allowing residents to watch DVDs in the common areas.
“Care Home staff across the country will be facing undue concern and stress as they are met with the prospect of taking expensive legal advice due to the threats of prosecution made by MPLC in their correspondence. Staff in Care Homes would much rather have their full focus on making this a memorable and enjoyable Christmas for the residents in their homes.
“Christina McKelvie MSP has been working to get answers for us from MPLC and other organisations mentioned in their correspondence. Hopefully the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future can have a word with MPLC and convince them to reconsider their demands of Care Homes over the Christmas period.”