In order to screen a film to audiences publicly it is imperative to obtain the consent of the copyright owner or their representatives before doing so.

 

A film’s copyright or intellectual property is generally owned by the film production house/studio or leased out to an appointed distributor or sector specific licensor. Lost The Plot has complied with the relevant intellectual property laws and compliances, and is a sector specific licensor within the territory of India.

1. WHY IS COPYRIGHT COMPLIANCE IMPORTANT?

 

  • Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection granted under Indian Law to original works of authorship such as literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, cinematographic films and sound recordings. It enables the author or their assignee or a licensor to use and exploit the piece of artistic work, film or sound recording for commercial gains.

 

  • Compliance of provisions related to copyright protects you and your business from infringement of copyright.

 

  • Compliance of copyright provisions ensures that the creative talent, efforts and hard work of the men and women who make films, sound recordings, dramatic, musical, literary or any artistic work is appropriately rewarded.

 

  • Non-compliance, infringement of copyright, piracy, or passing off of a third party’s work as your own could lead to unnecessary embarrassment of business owners, large fines and damages, and potentially, jail time.

 

2. WHO DOES COPYRIGHT LAW APPLY TO?

 

  • This law applies to every individual person, private and public companies as well as to non-profit institutions exhibiting films for commercial as well as non-commercial purposes (where the film is shown free of charge).

3. WHO CAN AUTHORISE THE PUBLIC SCREENING OF A FILM?

 

  • Any person, company or organisation that currently holds the copyright for that film or represents its owner in the relevant exhibition sector. This could be the production company or studio or the distributor appointed or the licensor - such as Lost The Plot - authorised to issue public screening licenses for a specific sector in the relevant territory.

 

4. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IF A FILM IS SHOWN WITHOUT A LICENSE?

  • The management of the venue or premises where the movie is shown bears the ultimate responsibility and consequences of copyright infringement. However, anyone involved with the public performance of copyrighted material could be implicated or held liable for unauthorised exhibition of copyrighted material.

 

5. WHAT IS THE TYPE OF LICENSE REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC SCREENINGS?

 

  • The exact definition and scope of a public screening license is decided by the understanding between the copyright owner or their distributor and the sector specific licensor assigned.

 

  • Lost The Plot issues a Title-by-Title Single Screening License, which allows public film screenings in non-theatrical venues i.e. venues that are not mainstream movie theatres, subject to the relevant studio’s approval of that particular show.

  • We are authorised to issue this license for film screenings across India. Under the terms of this license and subject to studio approval, exhibitors are able to charge for tickets as well as advertise their screenings (based on certain guidelines).

  • Typical exhibitors under this license include film clubs and societies, community screenings, event organisers, art and cultural centres, hospitality industry venues, drive-in theatres and many more.

6. DO WE NEED A LICENSE EVEN IF WE DON’T CHARGE ENTRY?

  • Yes, a license is required for all public screenings regardless of whether tickets are charged. There is a common misconception that movies can be screened publicly if the show is free i.e. if the audience doesn’t have to pay for the ticket. However, this is not true at all - movie licensing is required even if you’re showing it for free! This includes festivals, art camps, charity events or any other such non-commercial screenings.

 

  • For the titles that we represent, Lost The Plot can customise the scope and cost of the license, based on your specific screening needs.

 

7. DO WE NEED A LICENSE FOR SCREENINGS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES?

 

  • Certain scenes from a movie can be screened as video clips for educational purposes, as part of a classroom activity or lesson. This would be considered as fair use of copyrighted material.

 

However, the screening of an entire film, even within an educational premise, whether ticketed or for free, for students or for the larger community requires the institute to have a license for that particular film screening.

8. CAN WE SCREEN FILMS AVAILABLE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN?

 

  • According to Indian Copyright Law, the copyright in a film exists for 60 years from the date it was published. Thereafter, the rights automatically fall in the public domain and the film becomes available for royalty-free screening. However, the public domain is territory specific. As the laws around copyright vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be in the public domain in one country and be subject to rights in another. In most cases, the copyright laws of the country of origin of the film apply first.

 

9. ONCE I PURCHASE THE LICENSE TO SHOW A FILM, CAN I SHOW IT WHENEVER AND AS MANY TIMES AS I WANT?

 

  • Unfortunately, no you cannot. Licenses are valid for a specific pre-designated time frame and number of screenings only, and cost accordingly. The license structure and fees will depend on your terms of understanding and agreement with the owner of the copyright or their representative.

 

  • For the titles that we represent, Lost The Plot can customise the scope and cost of the license, based on your specific screening requirements.

 

10. WHAT IF SOMEONE OWNS A DVD/BLU RAY COPY OF THE MOVIE?

 

  • All DVD/Blu Ray discs display a copyright warning at the beginning, which specifically says ‘for home viewing only.’ So if you own a DVD/ Blu Ray copy of a movie, you only have the right to screen it privately at home.

 

  • The rental, purchase, lending, streaming or download of a film, even from a legitimate source, does not provide the right to exhibit it publicly outside the home nor does it allow for ticketed or donation based screenings within your home, unless the screening is properly licensed.​

 

 

11. A SMALL GROUP IS HAVING AN INFORMAL GATHERING IN OUR FACILITY. DO WE STILL NEED A LICENSE?

 

  • Yes. A license needs to be obtained regardless of the number of people attending the screening, whether by paying an entry fee or for free, so long as the film is being shown outside the home.

12. WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO VIOLATE COPYRIGHT LAW?

 

  • Motion picture companies can go to court to ensure their copyrights are not violated. According to Law, copyright owners in India can access civil and pecuniary remedies such as payment of monetary damages as well as criminal remedies, which could include heavy fines and even potential jail time for violators.

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