Please read the following film licensing information to make sure you take the proper steps for a fun and legal operation of any film.
WHAT IS A 'PUBLIC PERFORMANCE'?
How many times have you seen the FBI warning at the beginning of a DVD movie. Next time you pop a DVD into the player, read it closely. It states that the movie is for 'Home Use Only.' Home Use means just that: viewing of a movie at home by family or a close circle of friends.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Under the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 all non-private exhibitors of registered copyrighted videos or DVDs must obtain a Public Performance License.
'Willful' infringement for commercial or financial gain is a federal crime carrying a maximum sentence of up to five years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine.
IF I DON'T CHARGE ADMISSION, DO I STILL NEED A LICENSE?
Yes. Copyright laws apply whether or not admission is charged.
I OWN THE MOVIE. DO I STILL NEED A LICENSE TO SHOW IT OUTSIDE OF MY HOME?
Yes. Neither the rental, purchase or lending of a video or DVD carries with it the right to exhibit movies outside the home.
WHAT IF WE ARE A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, CHURCH OR GOVERNMENT AGENCY. DO WE STILL NEED A LICENSE?
Yes. Copyright laws apply to all viewings of movies that take place outside of the privacy of a home, regardless of the organization holding the event.
ARE SCHOOLS EXEMPT FROM OBTAINING A LICENSE?
The Educational Exemption, also called the 'face-to-face teaching exemption,' is a precise activity which allows the legal use of movies in certain types of teaching. In order for a movie to be considered an 'Educational Exemption,' all criteria must be met:
- A teacher or instructor is present.
- The showing takes place in a classroom setting with only the enrolled students attending.
- The movie is used as an essential part of the core, current curriculum being taught.
- The movie being used is a legitimate copy, not taped from a legitimate copy or taped from TV.
TO OBTAIN A PUBLIC LICENSE
Obtaining a public performance license is relatively easy. Southern Outdoor Cinema can help you with this process, but you do not pay us for the license.
The licensing companies determine fees by such factors as the number of times a particular movie is going to be shown, how large the audience will be and so forth. Most licensing fees are based on a particular performance or set of performances for specified films. The major firms that handle these licenses include:
Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
Note: Criterion Pictures and Swank Motion Pictures are not competitors, but represent different studios.