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When Do They Need A License To Screen A Film?
By Ted Hope
The other week I tweeted:
Any time a film is shown outside a person’s personal home, the screening is considered “public”& u must license the rights.
I expected not much of a response, but it got some retweets & favs. I fell into this subject courtesy of the Art House Convergence google group (always a fountain of information!). My tweet was abbreviated from IFC’s contractual license language:
Any time a film is shown outside a person’s personal home, the screening is considered “public”. It does not matter if admission is charged or if the entity screening the film is a non-profit organization, school, or library. If the film is being shown outside the home, it is considered “public” and it is necessary to license the rights for such a showing.
However, this does not seem to be the whole picture. The AHC conversation continued and it was sourced that Title 17 of USC (United States Code), section 110, states:
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright:
(1) 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;
If anyone would like to read, the entirety of copyright law (it’s riveting stuff), you can here: