- We affirm that ERA is the single collective voice for UK retailers of video, music and games embracing both digital and physical formats;
- We believe that retailers have a central role in the entertainment industry as trusted intermediaries between content owners and consumers;
- We commit to fulfil that role responsibly, respecting the legitimate interests of both content owners and consumers;
- We believe in fair remuneration for all parts of the content value chain;
- We believe a diverse retail marketplace maximises choice for consumers and revenue for content owners;
- We believe that diversity is also good for the content industry and therefore we support both plurality of ownership and suppliers providing a diverse choice of content;
- We are committed to dealing with our suppliers and licensors fairly, honestly, reasonably and professionally (and expect the same in return);
- We respect copyright as the essential foundation of the entertainment industry and where possible we will support the industry's efforts to counter piracy;
- We recognise the huge value of retail sales and usage data in promoting a better and more profitable understanding of the entertainment business and we therefore commit to making available that data in so far as commercially viable on a pan-industry and non-discriminatory basis;
- We affirm our agreement with the obligations regarding ERA itself (Appendix 1), sales of age-related product (Appendix 2), provision of sales data (Appendix 3) and disciplinary procedures (Appendix 4)
Appendix 1: Obligations of ERA membership
- All Members will abide by, comply with and support any Agreement entered into by the Board on behalf of the Association provided always that the Agreement does not bring the Member into disrepute or conflict with any existing Agreement by which the Member is bound. Where a Member believes that an Agreement which the Association has entered into or proposes to enter into, will bring it into disrepute or will result in a conflict of interest or contravention of any company policy of the Member, the Member may write to the Association, outlining its objections to such Agreement and requesting that the Board consider either that mutually acceptable amendments be made to the Agreement or that the Member be excluded from the terms of such Agreement.
- Every Member shall comply with the Memorandum and Articles of Association and Bye-Laws of the Association, as well as any additional rules, regulations or amendments that are introduced in the proper manner by the Association and approved by the Board from time to time (including the rules contained in this Code of Conduct).
- Every Member shall actively promote the Association and encourage other retailers to join and support the Association and its aims by voicing their opinions on the issues of the day that affect the retail entertainment industry, through the Association.
- Members must ensure that the contents of this Code of Conduct are made known and brought to the attention of all staff and that such contents and the intent of the Code are understood.
- Members commit to support the activities and messages of ERA
Appendix 2: Obligations Regarding Age Rated Products
- Any Member involved in the sale or rental of videos or computer games will at all times comply with the Video Recordings Act 1984 as amended and display details of the classification symbols required by that Act.
- Retailers should use reasonable endeavours when staff are involved in the sale of age related products to ensure that such staff are aware of the laws relating to the sale of these products
- Retailers will also use reasonable endeavours to put in place a training programme and / or guidelines to instruct staff in relation to age related products, such training programmes to be repeated at regular intervals
- Retailers are encouraged to use recognised proof of age schemes when selling age rated products
- Retailers should keep a refusals record when sales of age related products are refused
Appendix 3: Obligations regards the provision of sales data
- Any Member required to supply sales information to any research company for the purpose of analysis will do so honestly and accurately and in no way give false or inaccurate information that could lead to distortion of the analysis and/or chart compilations prepared by such research company.
- It is the duty of all Members to report to the Association any activity regarding the purchase of products that they consider suspicious and they feel could lead to corruption of any chart compilations whether prepared and/or produced by an independent research company or by Members for their own internal purposes.
- ERA members will abide by the terms of the Joint Venture Agreement and the Sales Data Agreement with the Official Charts Company, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the member. The key clauses are summarised below:
(a) ERA members will make available their sales data on a daily basis
(b) Official Charts is granted an exclusive licence to use and exploit that information
(c) So far as in reasonably practicable with their own commercial activities, retailers will
(d) endeavour to support the Official Charts in the promotion of the charts
(e) Key retailers may compile and use their own charts in store or online provided it does not use sales data from other retailers
(f) Retailers will not compete with the Official Charts by marketing their own charts when compiled on a national basis or on a local/regional basis if supplied to national media.
(g) Key retailers may use their own sales data for marketing and promoting their chain/products only if:
- No revenue is earned
- Supplied for no more than 4 weeks
- Such chart does not replace a similar genre chart supplied by Official Charts
- If there is a revenue earning opportunity for the Official Charts, then the Official Charts must be approached first.
Appendix 4: Disciplinary Procedures
- Stage 1 Procedure
Where the Board has reason to believe that a Member of the Association is breaking or has broken any of the Members' undertakings to the Association or any of the provisions contained in the Memorandum and Articles of Association or Bye-Laws of the Association, or any other rules or regulations of the Association (including the rules contained in this Code of Conduct), or where a Member is reported to be guilty of discreditable conduct or conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Association or its Members, the Chairman of the Board shall appoint a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the Member's activities and prepare a report for the Board's consideration.
The CEO of the Association shall notify an Applicant in writing, setting out its reasons, that the Association is considering refusing membership to the Applicant, or shall notify an existing Member in writing, setting out its reasons, that the Association is considering terminating its membership or is intending to take other disciplinary action against the Member following the Committee of Enquiry's report to the Board including fines, censure, payment of the costs and expenses of the Association in connection with the investigation by the Committee of Enquiry and publication of the findings of the Committee of Enquiry.
- Stage 2 Procedure
The Applicant/Member may request the Board to reconsider its initial decision. Such request must be in writing and made within one month of the Board's initial decision. The Applicant/Member may make representations to the Board orally and in writing and supply it with such information as the Board may request and the Applicant/Member will be given the opportunity to attend and be heard.
Three quarters of the Members of the Board present and voting at the meeting of the Board duly convened for the purpose of considering the Baord's initial decision must vote in favour of upholding the Board's initial decision. The Board will reach its final decision within one month of the request to reconsider its initial decision and will give reasons for its final decision.
The powers of the Board set out in the preceding paragraph may be exercised by the Board or by a sub-committee to whom such powers are delegated by the Board.
- Stage 3 Procedure
The Applicant/Member may appeal against the Board's final decision within one month stating the grounds on which the appeal is being made to an arbitrator to be agreed between the Association and the Applicant/Member or in the absence of agreement by the President of the Law Society.
The arbitrator will be requested to hear the appeal as soon as possible but in any event within one month of the notification of appeal by the Applicant/Member.
The Applicant/Member and the Association will make representations to the arbitrator and supply it with such information as the arbitrator may request and both parties will be given the opportunity to be heard by the arbitrator. The arbitrator will give it's decision within one month of receiving all representations and information and shall give reasons for its decision. The arbitrator's decision will be final.
- The Board may authorise the pursuit of legal proceedings and the handing over of the findings of the Committee of Enquiry to the relevant authority.