Do I need a license to show a movie on school grounds?

Folks, there is one thing for sure and that is that the Motion Picture industry is getting worse than the IRS when it comes to seeking out those who don’t pay for licenses.  I know that times are tight here in California, but don’t skimp on paying the measly $75 fee to show a motion picture to a PAYING audience (there are some fair use issues for educational purposes in classroom settings – check with your attorney).  If you do, the infringement might end up costing you thousands of times more.

Basically, there are 3 organizations that license motion pictures for public displays on public school grounds.   Some handle inside viewings and some handle outside viewing.  They all handle different movie production houses (Sony, Fox, Columbia – you get the idea).  And they offer one-time viewing licenses or annual licenses.  Both are cheap.  Here they are:

MPLC handles 20th Century Fox for indoor public school viewings  – (800) 462-8855

Swank Motion Pictures handles all other studios –  800-876-5577

Criterion Pictures USA handles outdoor public school viewings  –  800-890-9494

Learn more about licenses at

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