View the Code


  • 1.1 This Code has been developed at the instigation of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) following a review of complaints relating to dealings between exhibitors and distributors.
  • 1.2 Industry groups met under the auspices of the ACCC and agreed to adopt a voluntary code of practice and dispute resolution mechanism.
  • 1.3 The ACCC endorses the Code and sees it as a positive step by the industry to implement self-regulation to prevent disputes and to introduce an effective mechanism to deal with disputes when they arise.
  • 2.1 The objectives of this Code are:
    • 2.1.1 to provide a framework for fair and equitable dealing between all distributors and exhibitors;
    • 2.1.2 to provide a timely, non-legalistic, cost-effective and commercially orientated means of avoiding and settling disputes; and
    • 2.1.3 to reduce the likelihood of litigation between parties to the Code.
    • 2.1.4 to record the commitment of distributors and exhibitors to combat film piracy.
  • 3.1 This Code applies to each distributor and exhibitor who is a signatory to this Code in their dealings with each other.
  • 3.2 Each signatory to this Code agrees to endeavour in good faith to resolve disputes between itself and any other signatory or signatories through the dispute resolution mechanisms of this Code, prior to commencing litigation (except for urgent interlocutory relief), making a complaint to a regulatory authority, or resorting to any other means of dispute resolution.
  • 3.3 It is acknowledged by the signatories that this Code is intended to govern the conduct of the signatories but is not a contract between them and is not intended to be declared as either a voluntary or mandatory code under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (formerly known as the Trade Practices Act 1974).

includes a drive-in cinema.

complying digital projection system:
a digital projection system which complies with the requirements of a majority of the Major Studios in order for the Major Studios to permit their films to be exhibited on the system.

Digital Cinema Package, being the collection of digital files used to store and convey digital cinema audio, image and data stream for films which are made available in Digital Form.

Digital Form:
the digital format of a film which complies with the requirements of a majority of the Major Studios in order for the Major Studios to permit the film to be exhibited (described as “DCI Specification Compliance”), capable of being exhibited on complying projection systems.


  1. feature length theatrical motion pictures in 2D or 3D format; and
  2. programming content (other than feature length theatrical motion pictures, trailers and advertising content) in 2D or 3D format including, but not limited to, television programs, sporting events, theatrical stage productions, religious services, concerts, educational classes or presentations, live events, speeches and meetings.

Film Copy:
any current or future medium in which a film is made available for commercial distribution including, without limitation:

  1. as a 35mm print; and
  2. in Digital Form.

Key Delivery Message, being the security key encryption system used with digital projection systems which is unique and allows only a specific DCP to play on a specific cinema complex playback server for a specified period of time.

Major Studio:
each of Twentieth Century Fox International Corporation, Universal City Studios LLP, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

in respect of a film includes:

  1. physical delivery of a 35mm print;
  2. for a film made availabe in Digital Form:
    1. physical delivery of a hard disk drive;
    2. terrestrial, cable or satellite delivery; and
    3. on-line delivery, being digital delivery by means of the Internet, any proprietary computer service, any local area telecommunications network or system used to communicate audiovisual work (including, without limitation, films) and/or any audio and/or video and/or digital data or content, on a point to point or point to multi-point basis (Network) and/or any other Network (linked by any transmission means including, without limitation, RF, broadband, wireless, satellite and coaxial or fibre optic cable).

a so-called “virtual print fee” (including so-called “Alternative Content Fees”) paid by a distributor to a third party ‘integrator’ in connection with the exhibition of a film in Digital Form on a complying digital projection system operated by an exhibitor and applied in financially assisting the conversion to complying digital projection systems in the exhibitor’s cinemas.