ON-SITE CHURCH MOVIE LICENSE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What is considered a Public Performance?

Any exhibition of a movie outside the privacy of a home setting is considered a public performance. The rental, purchase lending, streaming or downloading of a movie does not grant the right to exhibit it publicly outside the home, unless the screening is properly licensed.

2. I own the DVD. Why do we need a License?

It’s the law and it’s the right thing to do. The Federal Copyright Act governs how copyrighted materials such as movies may be utilized publicly. The law applies to everyone including non-profit institutions. Funds from licensing go to paying for the production. Showing a film without a license is essentially stealing from the people who made the film.

3.  Do I need a license even if we don’t charge admission?

Yes! A license is required for all public performances regardless of whether admission is charged or not. In fact your license states that you are not allowed to charge admission.

4. If I purchase a license to show the movie, can I show it any time I want?

Our on-site faith-based license allows you to show the film anytime you want and as many times as you want during the licensing period - for one-year.

5. Since I'm buying a License, can we charge admission?

No. You cannot charge for admission. The license only gives you permission to do a public showing of the movie and marketing your event. However, there are a number of ways to recoup costs such as taking a collection, holding a raffle, etc – see question #10.

6. Can I use a retail version of the DVD if I purchase a License?

Yes. The License provides your church with permission to use a retail (home use only) DVD for your Movie Event.

7. Can we use clips from the film during our service? Can we show clips on our website?

No, you may not use clips from the film during your service or on your website, however you can show the trailer to promote your upcoming event.

8. A small group or ministry in our church is hosting the movie, do we still need a license?

Yes! If the small group is meeting outside a home, a license must be obtained regardless of the number of people attending the event. Movie license pricing is based on average weekly church attendance, not the event attendance. Faith based film licenses are valid for unlimited showings for a full year from the date of purchase and allows you to show the film to multiple groups in your church.

9. What does an on-site license cover? Are there limitations to the Public Performance Site License?

Faith-based licenses allow you to show the film anytime you want and as many times as you want during the licensing period, for one-year from date of purchase.

10. Is there a way to recoup the cost?

Price is based on your average weekly church attendance to help make the license more affordable.

There are a number of ways to recoup any costs:

  1. If you need to ticket the event because of seating issues, list a "suggested donation" on the ticket (remember, you cannot require an admission price).
  2. Offer free admission, but sell concession tickets for popcorn and a drink, or a hot dog dinner.
  3. Collect a freewill offering or leave baskets at the doors to collect gifts. People are accustomed to paying to see a film, so giving a donation to cover costs would not be seen as unusual.
  4. Many churches simply ask the congregation to consider giving a special gift for the Movie Event above and beyond their regular giving. The cost of the License represents less than $1.00 per person in the typical church.
  5. Ask a local business to sponsor the event, give them placement on your promotional materials and do a short sponsorship "commercial" to thank them prior to showing the film.
  6. Hold a 50/50 raffle, it’s easy, 50 percent of the proceeds goes to the winner, 50 percent go to help pay for the license.