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Old May 15th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #1
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Granting Public Performance Rights for a Film

I have a friend that would like to show one of my films to a small group. Does anyone have a template for granting a one-time public performance rights that they would like to share?

Google didn't turn up much...
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Old May 15th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Re: Granting Public Performance Rights for a Film

Unless you have some reservations (no pun) I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old May 18th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #3
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Re: Granting Public Performance Rights for a Film

If it's a friend, then just detail the circumstances and say they can do it.

Hi John, I understand you wish to show my film Return of the mutant guillotine murders to the ladies institution Thursday evening 22nd June 2012? As long as you make no charge for admission, I have no objections. Have a good evening, Paul.

That would seem to cover it. If, however, they will be making charges for watching it, or there are other potential issues, then a proper contract, scrutinised by a legal professional makes sense. If it's something like my light hearted one above - I'd not worry.

You could of course include all sorts of rules - no video, no editing, no recording of the soundtrack etc - but is it worth it for a friend?
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: Granting Public Performance Rights for a Film

So I guess the answer my question is: Nobody has a template to grant public performance rights.

Yes this is a friend but the next request may not be someone I know and since this movie has commercial value I want things in writing. (I know lots of people who were friends but were still violated.) That's why I was looking for a template, I could pay my entertainment lawyer $750/hr to write one for me, but I'm a bit cheap when there's no income involved - I have no trouble paying my lawyer when dealing with a distributor or broadcaster...
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: Granting Public Performance Rights for a Film

When speaking to EMI on the telephone for advice on a copyright issue - which would have generated maybe $30 of rights payments, EMI suggested that I just did it. "Can I have that in writing?" - NO. Essentially it was explained that simply producing the contract would be vastly more than the income, and as such, they didn't wish to do it. You're in the same position. If you want to do it totally in a contractual manner, but at no cost, it's going to cost you.

If it's your product, you can do whatever you like with it - and there's no need for a contract if you can't see a risk. If you can, and really need something in writing, pay the money. I can't see why you need a contract, if in essence, all you are doing is NOT collecting what is due. Just don't invoice them - I'd just turn a blind eye and not even talk copyright. If something went wrong, that way your rights would be intact. In this case, you are simply deciding not to protect your rights, it doesn't seem to set any precedent? Have I misunderstood and not seen something vital?
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 07:35 AM   #6
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Re: Granting Public Performance Rights for a Film

IMHO it should be no big deal to DIY something like this. "In return for the sum of One Dollar and other valuable consideration I hereby grant permission to John Doe and license him to publically exhibit my film "XXX YYY ZZZ" for X performances in Z location on such and such dates, In so far as no admission is charged for the performance, no further royalty payments will be required." A simple memo should suffice. Of course if the sound track contains copyright music the exhibitor will still need to report and pay performance royaties to those copyright owners.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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Re: Granting Public Performance Rights for a Film

Sounds like a plan Steve. Kevin, not knowing your film, if you are getting more requests and you don't know the audience, make sure you protect the DVD? by either being there for the presentation and collecting the DVD right after, or having someone there you trust.

Unattended DVDs have a habit of walking off by themselves. In a museum situation where the entrance desk has a screen showing our DVD product, they've 'lost' 2 in a row.

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