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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 116818
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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For PaulMJD only: Copy Right Laws

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For PaulMJD only: Mr. Paul, I'm trying to lease a Private TV Cable System 12-channels from for my apartment complex, which my main business is renting weekly temporary housing/shelter to seniors or Reno downtown workers. My company pay for all utilities included cable for ALL residents in this complex. They(retirementhometv) said that they will add a community channel along with the DVD drive that I can play any DVD (bought at walmart or rented from nextflix or any DVD or CD) on movie nights for my residents to view in their suites. I asked this questions: "Are you 100% sure that we can play any CD or DVD on the Buit-In DVD Drive for Movie Nights? Is this violated Title 17 of the U.S. Code (copyright law) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be used? " They answered me as follow:"As long as your rooms are private and in a private facility, you don’t have to worry. If it is broadcast on a common area TV, you may have an issue." Please clarify that retirementhometv is correct on their above answer. I would like to play DVD here an there for my low-income residents on one of the channels of this new Private TV Cable System at NO cost to Residents. I i just wanted to make sure that I will not violate any laws to do so. Please help to answer this question. Thank you very much for your helps in advance:) Christy

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

You are not allowed to re-transmit or show these copyrighted DVDs for a profit. Thus, if you are going to show them on your Cable System private channel, as long as there are no fees being charged for you showing these production and you have paid rental or purchase price for them, there is no law against you showing them over the private station no different than you showing them to your friends in your living room.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I asked about the same question on last Saturday 6/8 and attorney BizIPEsq answered me as follow:

"purchased/rented DVDs or streamed content are licensed for your private use only. They are not licensed for exhibition to the public. Title 17 of the U.S. Code (copyright law) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be used. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a copy of a copyrighted work carries with it the right to publicly exhibit the work. No additional license is required to privately view a movie or other copyrighted work with a few friends and family or in certain narrowly defined face-to-face teaching activities. However, public spaces such bars, restaurants, clubs, lodges, daycare facilities, churches and non-classroom use at schools and universities all require a public performance license which must be obtained in advance. This requirement applies regardless of whether an admission fee is charged or whether it is a commercial endevour or not for profit."


Because I'm getting conflict answers, that is why I need your opinion. Based on your experiences in business laws, after reviewing my case and answer from, do you think that I need to get a Public Performance License"?

I am afraid I disagree with my colleague. DVD's can be played to the public, such as in a bar or club as long as no charges are made to those watching the DVD. Thus, as long as no fees are charged to the residents of this home and you are showing it to the free of charge, it is lawful in the private rooms to private individuals. The TV company is correct regarding you not having problems.
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