Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Movie Licensing, USA

Our school district has recently purchased a Public Performance Site License through Movie Licensing, USA which puts us in full copyright compliance in terms of showing copyrighted films within the school building.  Without this license, federal copyright law prohibits teachers and schools from showing films unless the following applies:

Rented or Purchased Movies May Be Played By Teachers Without a License

Section 110(1) of Title 17 of the United States Code grants a specific exemption from the copyright laws for:
performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made ....
Q:  What can we do now that we couldn't do before?
A:  Without this license, we are limited to only showing films in the classroom if they are directly related to instruction.  With this license, we can now show films during:
  • Family Movie Nights
  • Before/After School Programs
  • Staffing Emergencies/Substitute Teachers
  • Last Days of School
  • Student Rewards for Academics, Attendance and Good Behavior
  • Lunch Hour Control
  • Rainy/Snow Days
  • Indoor Recess
  • Children's Entertainment during Parent Meetings
  • Safe Prom/Graduation
  • Holiday Events
  • Scout and Club Meetings
  • Lock-Ins
  • Dances
  • Assemblies
  • Idle Periods during State Testing
  • Summer Camps
  • Film & Foreign Language Clubs
  • Student Council Activities
Q:  What can't we do?
A: We can never charge admission to see a film.  However, we can show a film during a fundraising activity in which we ask for donations.  We also cannot advertise through public media (radio, TV, website) the movie title or studio name.

Q: Can we stream videos from Netflix or other streaming sources and show them in the classroom?
A: SEE website at University Libraries
Without this license, no we cannot.  With this license, we can use movies that are slated for home use only.  Please see the library staff if you have a question as to whether a movie is a legal copy.

 Q: Which studios are we licensed to show?
A: A lot!  See below.  Also, visit the Movie Licensing USA webpage. 

Q: What does "legally obtained copy" of the movie mean?
A: Well, generally copies (burning on your computer, etc) you make of movies are not legally obtained.  Also, movies you rent or stream through a personal account are not for distribution or viewing in a classroom.  However, this license does support using Home Use Only movies.

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