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HELP: Copyright issue

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Yumbo, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. Yumbo

    Yumbo Well-Known Member

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    hi,

    we're planning on screening a few DVDs at the local university for some visitors at no charge.

    how would this be intepreted? anyone familiar with these situations?

    need to know by tomorrow please.

    thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    That would be public exhibition, is this for a class or is this an event? I doubt anyone's going to come chasing you for a class, or heck, probably an event in Fiji
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Well-Known Member

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    If you're not charging any money for the viewing, is it even an issue? I thought copyright came into effect if you were trying to profit without license.

    Most video stores have movies playing on their in-store monitors. That's essentially public exhibition but I doubt the stores pay licensing fees.
     
  4. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Well-Known Member

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    Any unlicensed public performance, for profit or not, is a violation of copyright. Will you get caught and fined? Probably not, but you could. You're taking a risk.
     
  5. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Well-Known Member

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    It'd be a violation of copyright if you did it in the US. What the copyright laws are in Fiji, however, you're better equipped to tell than we.[​IMG]
     
  6. Jeremy Stockwell

    Jeremy Stockwell Well-Known Member

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    They most certainly do pay licensing fees as do stores, restaurants, bars, etc. that have copyrighted audio or video playing in public places.

    Chris, I doubt that anybody's going to say anything if you do what you've described, but I do believe that by the letter of the law, it may be illegal.

    JKS
     
  7. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Well-Known Member

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    You might want to write a letter to the studio or studios in question and ask them if it's okay to do what you were thinking about.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    If you're really concerned, you could always consult a local lawyer. Legal advice rendered in a public internet forum by (mostly) non-lawyers is worth exactly what you pay for it.

    M.
     
  9. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Well-Known Member

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    Here's a "grey area" for you all.

    I'm thinking of holding a "movie night" on the rooftop terrace of our condo building. Officially, the terrace is considered a "common area" reserved for the building's residents and their guests. This is NOT an area open to the general public. Would showing a movie on the terrace (no charge) be considered a public presentation? Or is this the same as showing a movie to a bunch of friends in the privacy of your own unit?

    Enjoy! [​IMG]
     
  10. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Well-Known Member

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    Francois, I think you'd be okay.
     
  11. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I couldn't imagine a studio going after someone for showing movies on a campus (or roof top)to a group of people when no money/profit is involved. As long as no one profits, I think the studios have bigger fish to fry by going after bootleggers / pirates that are directly cutting into their profits.

    Irregardless of law, I think you are going to be ok.
     
  12. ShaunS

    ShaunS Well-Known Member

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    I've been considering starting up a Film Club myself, perhaps showing a film a month or every two weeks at the local pub. They have a back room with a projection screen and a dvd player. This thread ties right in to my concern. It seems silly that a group of film fans in the back room of a pub watching Kurosawa films should be raided and thrown in the slammer (or, more likely, fined). Would a "Members Only" showing (with no money exchanging hands for a membership) make a difference? Or does all that matter be that it is a public place?

    ShaunS
     
  13. Yumbo

    Yumbo Well-Known Member

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    thanks guys,

    I just wanted to get a head start before the copyright office, and the university opened up this morning.

    we play movies all day inside the store actually; I do live instore, so I could always argue it is my lounge, lol!

    they could be lawyers around as well.

    I was just trying to remember what schools do, as I vaguely remember when we took film class (Australia), the movies screened had to be logged somehow.

    it is essentially like the pub situation involved, and given the copyright situation in Fiji (almost non-existant), I doubt there would be a problem.

    any of you at school ran film clubs or whatnot?

    I can't describe the exact event just yet, but it is localised (and huge) over a 2 week period. I'd be showing things like Tokyo Olympiad, Prefontaine etc. as a theme, or just normal stuff to getaway from that theme. [​IMG]

    thanks again!

    any further comments would be interesting.
     
  14. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Well-Known Member

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  15. Lane_S

    Lane_S Active Member

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    Like Jeremy said, by the letter of the law you are violating the copyright, but I'm guessing at the very worst they would send you a cease and desist letter if it really bothered them. If they do, you ignore the C&D and contiue to hold movie nights, you would probably get stronger and stronger letters well before anything got really serious.

    BUT - in the real world are they going to care that a school is holding a free movie night in the first place? It would really surprise me if the studios/copyright holders gave it a second thought once they found out about it assuming the movies are already available for sale and rent, and not "Terminator 3".
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The copyright statutes provide for exhibition of a copyrighted work in a classroom setting face to face -- instructor and students.

    Any public exhibition, ie. any sort of public meeting place, auditorium, etc. is not within the guidelines of the law. These rights must be licensed on case by case basis from the copyright holder or their representative (sub-licensee).
     
  17. Yumbo

    Yumbo Well-Known Member

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    what if there is no local licensee?

    still waiting to hear back from the Copyright Office (deferred to Film & Censor Board) though this is a video issue.

    thanks
     
  18. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Well-Known Member

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    If it's gonna be at a college... there might be a free "legal services" department where you can consult a lawyer for free if you are a student. At least that's the way it is at my university [​IMG]
     
  19. Anthony Urzi

    Anthony Urzi Well-Known Member

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    You'd probably fall udner a fair use liscence, as thsi si for educational purposes, or discusion in a forum,
    educational establishments are udner fair use clauses. By the tiem you get the letter back statign ti's ok or not you could have been down :) you can;t request this stuf fmonths in advance, thatd get tiresom
    in msot cases the studios don't care, their directign thsi more twords public establishments *which make money, directly or indirectly off showing the material through cover charges, food, beverages, attendence, whatever*

    What they don't know wont hurt them.
     
  20. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Well-Known Member

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