What is a Public Performance?
Suppose you invite a few personal friends over for dinner and a movie. You purchase or rent a copy of a movie from the local video store and view the film in your home that night. Have you violated the copyright law by illegally "publicly performing" the movie? Probably not. But suppose you took the same DVD and showed it at a club. In this case you have infringed the copyright of the movie. DVDs obtained without a public performance license are not licensed for exhibition.
What the Law Says
The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be used. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a DVD carries with it the right to show it outside the home. In some instances, no license is required to view a DVD, such as inside the home by family or social acquaintances and in certain narrowly defined face-to-face classroom activities.
Showing the film in a restaurant, private club, public library, place of worship, or outside the classroom are all examples of situations where a public performance license must be obtained. This legal requirement applies regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, or whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit.
The Honor System
We fully believe that our chapters will adhere to an honor system and not violate the usage agreements negotiated with the National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF). Brandeis National Committee has made special arrangements with the National Center for Jewish Film for screening any one of the series featured in our 'Deis Flicks program.
'Deis Flicks Rental Fees
The rental fee for each DVD from our 'Deis Flicks collection is $20. In addition, there will be $1 per person (minimum of $20) added on the rental to cover NCJF's Public Performance Fee. The proceeds from the screening fee will be paid to NCJF, who in turn shares fees with the filmmakers.