The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, an independent copyright licensing agency, is introducing its Umbrella License for K - 12 schools and districts to supplement any existing license to show movies. Bridgeton Public Schools in Bridgeton, NJ and Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, CA are among the charter clients for this License, which allows schools to show movies and other programs in a copyright compliant manner.
The License gives schools the performance rights to show movies, popular children's programs, educational documentaries, and other audiovisual content for entertainment purposes on their campuses. Studios and producers covered by the license are 20th Century Fox as well as 390 children's, independent, specialty, and documentary producers including Scholastic Entertainment, Hit Entertainment, Discovery Channel, A&E, The History Channel, Sony Pictures Classics, and others that are not represented by any other licensing company. Once licensed, movies can be obtained from any legitimate source. For example, movies can be rented, streamed or downloaded and shown without any further reporting.
Under Federal Copyright Law, a public performance license is required to show copyrighted material for any and all entertainment purposes. This includes entertainment in the classroom, before and after-school programs, holiday parties, parent-teacher organization events, assemblies, or any other activities. The legal requirement applies equally to for-profit and non-profit schools, regardless of whether an admission or other fee is charged.
A school can even be considered a contributory infringer for allowing unlicensed exhibitions to occur on its campus, even if the party responsible for the programming does not have a direct relationship with the school.
The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation was established more than 25 years ago by motion picture executives to provide public access to the work of the creative community without copyright infringement.
Source: Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC), www.mplc.org