Summer is here! Well, the rainy season started in Florida and the AC is working overtime even if Summer hasn't officially started.
This post is my attempt to walk you through the discovery process to determine whether you can legally show a specific movie at your Church's next movie night. This process assumes you have a license from cvli.com. Our church's license costs $104 per year.
First, confirm that you have a current CVLI license, then become familiar with the terms of that license. I called CVLI and asked them to explain in general terms what our license allows. You can show movies from production companies and distributors on their list to your members. Also, you aren't supposed to promote or publicize the specific movie titles. I assumes that means you aren't supposed to advertise them outside your organization. I can't imaging you can't warn people which movie you are showing so they can avoid coming if they aren't interested.
The key paragraph in their terms seems to be #4:
The public performances authorized by the Agreement shall take place in the facility(ies) identified in the Application. The audience will be limited to LICENSEE's facility(ies) and the sole purpose of such performances is to entertain and/or educate members, students, staff and guests of LICENSEE and the audience will be limited accordingly. No specific titles, or any characters from such titles, or producers' names will be advertised or publicized to the general public unless authorized by certain producers. No admission or other fee will be charged to the audience.
Furthermore you must determine if our CVLI license allows us to show a particular video. The key determination is whether the movie's producer or distributor is on their list.
- Find the movie at http://www.imdb.com. I easily found Evan Almighty
- Look for "Overview" section on the left then click "Company Credits"
- Locate the USA Theatrical Producer and the USA Theatrical Distributor.
- Universal Pictures (and)
- Spyglass Entertainment (present)
- Relativity Media (in association with)
- Shady Acres Entertainment
- Original Film
- Columbia Pictures (uncredited)
- Universal Pictures
Evan Almighty seems to qualify since it is produced and distributed by Universal Pictures and they are on the CVLI list.
I estimate this process will take 5 to 10 minutes for someone who already has all the above links and instructions. Clarifying the parameters to your staff regarding how they can show movies will help people avoid the frustration of having to change plans they have already publicized.
Doing this research makes me the bad guy since everyone would much rather operate on the assumption that our license, which costs only as much as 10 movie tickets, can be used in any way we want for any movie we think might be appropriate. Good thing I don't mind being that bad guy.