Will copyright laws be violated if a movie is shown as a fundraising event

Asked over 5 years ago - Springfield, OR

My High Schools Club (DECA) needs to fundraise money for a trip to a confrence.

Once of our ideas was to have a "Movie Night". We would show a Movie (Ex: Transformers) in our Schools Main Gym and charge people admition to come and see it. Would this be against Copyright for us to charge money for a movie that isn't ours?

If it is against Copyright how do we obtain the 'permission' to use it?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Kurt Van Thomme

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . The below does not constitute legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action.

    One of the exclusive rights of a copyright owner is the right to "to perform the copyrighted work publicly," which means "to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered." Here, if you are charging admission for people to come see a copyrighted movie, it would almost certainly be considered a "public performance" and therefore an infringement.

    As to how to get the rights for such a performance, often you can obtain such rights from Swank Motion Pictures (www.swank.com), although you would have to check with them to see whether they have the ability to license the movie you're interested and the cost.

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