Quick Answer: Can You Show A Movie In Public For Free?

You certainly are free to watch the movie yourself, but, beyond that, your rights are very limited by law.

In particular, you do not have the right to show the movie to “the public.” In most cases, doing that requires a separate “public performance” license from the copyright owner.

Is it illegal to show a movie in public?

A copyrighted movie cannot be publicly displayed without the consent of the copyright owner. However, if the movie is played privately, no violation occurs. The law defines public as a place that is open to anyone or has a substantial number of persons outside your normal social circle.

How much does it cost to license a movie for public showing?

The cost can range from $250 to $600 depending on the studio, title and event date. Licensing costs can fluctuate weekly. Contact your film licensing sales rep for a firm quote.

Can schools show movies for free?

Showing movies in your school for non-teaching activities without a license is against the law. The good news is an Annual Public Performance Site License from Movie Licensing USA grants copyright protection to show movies anywhere, anytime in your buildings. Movie events help parents connect with students and staff.

In general, the permissions process involves a simple five-step procedure:

  • Determine if permission is needed.
  • Identify the owner.
  • Identify the rights needed.
  • Contact the owner and negotiate whether payment is required.
  • Get your permission agreement in writing.