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Where to rent DVDs for group viewing?

Old 01-18-03, 11:12 AM
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Where to rent DVDs for group viewing?

My wife wants to have a PTO movie night, but I'm pretty sure we need to rent from a distibutor that has a license for something like that.

Does anyone know where we can go to do this (Mass/NH would be best, but online would be fine too I guess)?

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-18-03, 11:39 AM
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I did find this place and sent them an email, but we are hoping for something a bit easier.

http://www.mplc.com/
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Old 01-18-03, 04:52 PM
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can i ask what pto is?
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Old 01-18-03, 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by WiccanPagan
can i ask what pto is?
Parent Teacher Organization

No kids yet?
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Old 01-18-03, 08:13 PM
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As long as it isn't commercial, I don't see why you couldn't rent from a Blockbuster. I don't know the law, but I would assume it wouldn't be any different than a party.
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Old 01-18-03, 08:34 PM
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Right, as long as you aren't charging admission to view the movie, you're fine.
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Old 01-18-03, 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by Dave C

Originally posted by WiccanPagan
can i ask what pto is?
Parent Teacher Organization

No kids yet?
nope. college student, but it is also called pta (parent teacher assosciation(sp)) where i grew up.
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Old 01-19-03, 12:02 AM
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Originally posted by Heat
Right, as long as you aren't charging admission to view the movie, you're fine.
It isn't just an issue of admissions.

A bar owner couldn't rent and show it during Happy Hour, I don't think. However, a teacher can rent one and show it to his/her classes. I think the issue really is about the setting being "non-commercial." A PTA conference is non-commercial, even if they charge for cookies and punch. A bar is a commercial establishment, even if no one is drinking.
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Old 01-19-03, 05:59 AM
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Check out the link above.

You can't just rent from BB or show one you own, regardless of whether you charge or not.

If you are going to show it to a group, you need a license for that. Church groups have formed a consortium of sorts to license for exactly the same type of showing.

I'm sure groups do it without the proper licensing all the time, but we really want to do it the correct way. They raise plenty of money during the year and don't mine paying a reasonable fee, we just need to find out how to do it.
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Old 01-19-03, 06:04 AM
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This faq confirms what the video guy at the school told us (of course he doesn't know where to go either):


http://www.mplc.com/index2.htm
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Old 01-19-03, 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by Dave C
If you are going to show it to a group, you need a license for that.
What's the definition of a group? Is a party a group? How many can I invite to my place to watch a DVD until I am breaking the law? (I'm not talking about breaking my lease.. hehehe) I'm curious about this. There must be a specific definition of what a "group" is.

The website linked in the message above seems to explain that the issue is not the size or type of the group, but the fact that it is viewed outside your own home. Doesn't seem to make sense to me. What it is saying is that I cannot even play it by myself in the school AV closet without a license.

In the FAQ on that website, they seem to make an issue about whether it's "public" or not.

Law is so fascinating!
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Old 01-21-03, 07:42 AM
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Here's an update.

For a School/PTO it's either $25 for a one-time showing or $75 for a 1 year license. You cannot charge admission and you cannot advertise in newspapers, radio etc (only in a newsletter-type thing).

Not a bad deal, but a limited number of studios, at least ones that I've heard of. Artisan and Sony Pictures Classics (we're asking if that's different than Sony) are the most notable.

We're gonna try to pursue this further with other studios, I'll let you know if we get anywhere.

Complete list of studios/distributors covered:

MPLC Motion Picutre Licensing Corporation
Home Videocassettes & DVDs of the Following Producers and Distributors are Available for Use by
MPLC-licensed Public Schools:

ALLEY CAT FILMS AMERICAN PORTRAIT
FILMS
ARTISAN
ENTERTAINMENT
BEST FILM & VIDEO BRIDGESTONE
MULTIMEDIA/ALPHA
OMEGA PUBLISHING
BRITISH AND FOREIGN
BIBLE SOCIETY
CASTLE HILL
PRODUCTIONS
CDR COMMUNICATIONS CENTRAL PARK MEDIA
CHOICES, INC. CHRISTIAN CINEMA.COM CHRISTIAN TELEVISION
ASSOCIATES
CHRISTIANO FILM GROUP
CINEMATHEQUE COLLECTION
CROWN VIDEO
CURRENT
WELLNESS/PPI
ENTERTAINMENT
DAVE CHRISTIANO FILMS DREAM, LLC
EO INTERNATIONAL FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT LIBRARY
FAMILY HOME ENTERTAINMENT
GATEWAY FILMS/VISION
VIDEO
GOSPEL
COMMUNICATIONS
INTERNATIONAL
GRACE
PRODUCTS/EVANGELICA
L FILMS
GRIZZLY ADAMS
PRODUCTIONS
GRIZZLY ADAMS/TOTAL
LIVING PRODUCTIONS
HARBINGER
COMMUNICATIONS
HARVEST PRODUCTIONS INTERCOMM, INC. INTERNATIONAL
CHRISTIAN
COMMUNICATIONS (ICC)
INTERNATIONAL FILM
FORUM
INTERNATIONAL FILMS JEREMIAH FILMS
LANTERN FILM AND
VIDEO
LEARNING
CORPORATION OF
AMERICA
LINN PRODUCTIONS
MAHONEY MEDIA
GROUP
MARALEE DAWN
MINISTRIES
MC DOUGAL FILMS
MC GRAW-HILL MESSENGER FILMS NEW WORLD PICTURES
PARADE VIDEO/PPI
ENTERTAINMENT
PETER PAN/PPI
ENTERTAINMENT
PRAISE HOME VIDEO
PROVIDENCE
ENTERTAINMENT
RUSS DOUGHTEN FILMS SCHOLASTIC
ENTERTAINMENT
SIDE BY SIDE FILMS SIGNAL HILL PICTURES SONY PICTURES
CLASSICS
SPARK PRODUCTIONS,
LTD.
TOMMY NELSON TOTAL LIVING VIDEO
CURRICULUM
TRANS ATLANTIC
PICTURES
TRIMARK HOME VIDEO TVA/QUIGLEY'S VILLAGE
WORLD ALMANAC VIDEO XENON HOME VIDEO
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Old 01-21-03, 08:44 AM
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I finally found the place we really need (it covers Disney):

http://www.movlic.com/



Examples for a yearly license are $350 for a school of 500 students. As many shows as you want.

One time licenses vary from movie to movie and depend on the size of the audience. It runs about $200 per showing, so the annual license is a better deal.

You can charge admission just to cover the cost of the license.

The site has answers to all the licensing questions I could come up with. I believe this ends the search.

Studios covered:

Walt Disney Pictures
Warner Bros.
DreamWorks
MGM
Hollywood Pictures
Paramount Pictures
United Artists
Columbia Pictures
TriStar Pictures
Universal Pictures

Last edited by Dave C; 01-21-03 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 02-17-03, 01:35 PM
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For what it's worth, I would just show the movie (and not charge admission or advertise), and use the money for something else for the kids.

First of all, if you show the film, nobody is going to report you to Disney or any of the other studios. And even if they do, no studio is going to sue a school, all they would do is say "pay next time".
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Old 02-17-03, 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by Heat
And even if they do, no studio is going to sue a school, all they would do is say "pay next time".
You know they would threaten to sue, especially Disney. I wouldn't risk the wrath of my kids' teachers and school administration just for a few bucks.

BTW, Chicago (the group, not the town or musical) threatened to sue my high school because the marching band played one of their songs at a football game without permission. How did they find out? Who knows, but they did.
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Old 02-17-03, 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by Heat
For what it's worth, I would just show the movie (and not charge admission or advertise), and use the money for something else for the kids.

First of all, if you show the film, nobody is going to report you to Disney or any of the other studios. And even if they do, no studio is going to sue a school, all they would do is say "pay next time".
With all due respect, what kind of a message does that send? "It's okay to break the law as long as you can get away with it?"

This is a public school related event. Everything needs to be by the book.

I appreciate your opinion, but I can't concur. We're gonna pay the money whether we charge or not.
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