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TOPIC: Unlicensed Screenings

Unlicensed Screenings 11 Nov 2010 17:24 #34863

Our local art museum has been doing a lot of "free with museum admission" screenings of films lately, and I was curious as to whether or not they were actually obtaining the rights, now I am pretty sure they are not.

They are playing an older Disney animated feature this week, which to my understanding, are all in "the vault".

They started this by doing a sunday film series that consisted of old foreign films in public domain, then moved onto more of a "whatever puts butts in the seats" format.

Would this bother anyone else? I am getting irked by it because we supplement our programming with classics and kid's shows and pay for the rights.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 11 Nov 2010 17:39 #34864

  • tratcliff
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That would certainly upset me, esp if you do classics at your theatre.

If I were you I'd gently remind the museum that they need to follow the rules. And if they continue, I think you should let Disney know.

It's hard enough to complete against the Free shows that cities and museums are putting on, and much harder if they don't follow the same rules.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 11 Nov 2010 17:54 #34865

  • rufusjack
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Disney is not big on letting anything play that has been released on dvd. My rep with Disney has told me that they are not in the business of doing free or cheap kid shows. That is why you do not see theaters that do such free or kid shows play Disney movies. I would ask you Disney rep if they are aware of what the museum is doing.

What is the name of this museum?
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2010 17:54 by rufusjack.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 11 Nov 2010 19:36 #34868

  • Mike
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I have had a dime dropped on me and I hate it/ it usually doesn't really help the outfit that's calling and it very much hurts the dropped upon. But I do understand the frustration people feel.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 11 Nov 2010 23:39 #34870

  • Transit Drive in
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These types of "free" showings always get me going. I will drop a dime on them in a heartbeat. What they are doing is illegal, and the people doing it know it's illegal, even if they aren't charging an admission.

Even if they were charging an admission, it would still be illegal, but at least it would level the playing field. It's hard to justify why a real theatre has to charge $7-10 for a ticket, when these licensing freeloaders get away for showing movies to the public for free. It may not be "new" or "in release" movies, but it is still a form of movie entertainment, albeit a mockery of the real thing.

Whenever I notice these types of situations, I pass the information along to the studio. If it's on the up-and-up, great. If it isn't, and most of them are not, it puts a stop to it pretty quickly.

Even the local town recreation department was completely unaware (or so they claimed) that showing a free movie from a personal DVD or Blueray, using a cheap digital projector, was not legal without studio licensing. Even if they claim to have the licensing, I will still drop the dime on them, and let the studio check it out and deal with it. If they are dumb enough to show the movie publicly without licensing, they are probably dumb enough to lie to me about having secured the licensing.

Bottom line is, if I can't take a DVD or Blueray and show it on my screen for free, and charge no admission, then neither should the "wannabe theatre operators" who take advantage of copyrighted materials by flying under the radar.

As a side note, these types of free showings also contribute to the public's misconception that a public viewing of a movie is a valueless commodity. And that perception is not good for theatrical exhibition as an industry.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2010 23:42 by Transit Drive in.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 12 Nov 2010 10:06 #34872

They aren't exactly free - they are "free with museum admission" - admission to the museum is $5. They advertise these movies in the paper, so I am sure a good chunk of the audience went there and paid $5 just to see the movie.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 12 Nov 2010 14:02 #34873

  • dsschoenborn
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Saying something to them won't help. I would go right to Diseny with the information.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 12 Nov 2010 14:56 #34874

  • revrobor
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Have you checked with the museum to see if they HAVE obtained a public performance license?
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 12 Nov 2010 17:12 #34875

I think I made it clear that I have not outright asked them if they have the license or not...it became clear that they did not when they announced they would be screening a classic Disney cartoon from DVD.

I am not looking to get anyone in trouble - it is very frustrating spending $250-$500/week on classics and kid shows, when down the road someone is keeping money in the wallet and doing the same thing.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 12 Nov 2010 19:48 #34876

  • revrobor
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A public performance license can be obtained for a DVD performance by contacting the owner (distributor) of that film and they will pay as much as you do IF they have done that.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 12 Nov 2010 19:55 #34877

Again, a Disney animated movie being presented on DVD.

1) When did Disney start letting their older animated features be played in theaters, let alone random Art Museum auditoriums?

2) When did Disney start allowing DVD screenings?

This is what sent the red flag up.
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 12 Nov 2010 20:00 #34878

  • rufusjack
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Have you contacted Disney yet? If not, what are you waiting for?
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Re:Unlicensed Screenings 14 Nov 2010 19:39 #34884

  • Mike
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I may cringe a bit but I am with Rick @ Transit Drive In. You cannot compete with someone if they're playing films you can't even get (Disney) and they're giving it away.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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