Licensing Information

Licensing can be confusing, but we are here to help!

WHAT THE LAW SAYS

The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be used. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a movie carries with it the right to show the movie PUBLICLY outside the home, unless the site where the movie is used is properly licensed for public exhibition.

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. Non-compliance with the Copyright Act is considered infringement and carries steep and significant penalties for both the exhibitor and anyone that contributes to the infringing conduct.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Basically, when you buy or rent a DVD (or other media), that purchase comes with a license that allows you to view the movie in your home, or private residence/property, with “a normal circle of family and its social acquaintances”. It does not grant you permission to show that movie PUBLICLY, say in a park, church, or school.

CineStar Movie Company is NOT liable

or responsible for obtaining/providing a public viewing license, nor do we provide the movies/content. We will gladly assist you and get you the information you need to obtain any licensing you will need. Please ask if there are any questions/concerns you have with licensing.

I AM SHOWING A MOVIE FOR MY CHILD'S BIRTHDAY IN THE BACKYARD, DO I NEED A LICENSE?

No. Buying a DVD provides you with a private viewing license, which includes your house, yard, and close circle of friends. CineStar Movie Company cannot proivide the movie, but anything you have or can buy is OK to play.

I WANT TO SHOW A MOVIE FOR OUR BASEBALL TEAM AT THE LOCAL BALLPARK, DO WE NEED A PUBLIC VIEWING LICENSE?

Unfortunately, Yes. If paying a license is not in the budget, consider moving the party to a team member's house.

IF I DON'T CHARGE ADMISSION, DO I STILL NEED A LICENSE TO SHOW A PUBLIC MOVIE?

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.

DO WE NEED A LICENSE IF WE ARE A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, CHURCH OR GOVERNMENT AGENCY?

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, unless the site where the movie is used is properly licensed for public exhibition.

ARE SCHOOLS EXEMPT FROM OBTAINING A PUBLIC VIEWING 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 of the following 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 copied/recorded from a legitimate copy or copied/recorded from TV.

HOW TO OBTAIN A PUBLIC LICENSE

Obtaining a public performance license is relatively easy. CineStar Outdoor Movie Company can help you with this process, but you do not pay us for the license. Before calling a licensing company, know the venue, the number of people, and a movie title.

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:

Criterion Pictures

www.criterionpicusa.com
(800) 890-9494

Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.

www.swank.com
(800) 876-5577
Note: Criterion Pictures and Swank Motion Pictures are not competitors, but represent different studios.

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC)

Yearly site license for organizations with members (Camps, YMCA, HOAs)
www.mplc.com
(800) 462-8855