Before You Hold Your Movie Night,

view podcast played at a book club meeting, or heavy beats in a fi tness class, what you’re sharing was made by someone and at least partially belongs to them. So for any use with a group, you need to


pay: That’s the copyright law. You don’t need to track down each in- dividual creator and negotiate terms, how- ever. Several organizations that represent creators have developed licensing arrange- ments, so for a single charge you get the rights to play what you want, when, and as often as you want. Argentum and all other leading industry

associations negotiated an agreement with MPLC for member savings on MPLC’s Umbrella License®, the most comprehen- sive copyright license available for senior living and health care communities. It gives you access to content from nearly 750 right- sholders, ranging from major Hollywood and independent studios to faith-based and foreign language producers. In addition, Argentum members receive a 10 percent discount on the license. The organization also has answers to

frequently asked questions specifi cally in reference to senior living:

Q. Our residents live here; our community is their home. Why do we need a public performance license to watch movies in common areas? A. Exhibitions in common areas such as lounges, theaters, or community rooms are considered public performances. Since the common areas are shared among various residents, showing movies in such spaces would require a public performance license.

hether it’s an old movie or the latest one being shown in the game room, an author-inter-


Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) control what can be performed in public. Each group represents a diff erent roster of songwriters. Here are just a few of the cases where you would benefi t from having all licenses:

• On-hold music

• A DJ hired for a dance (even if you pay them, you still need permission)

• Playing piano at a gathering

• Fitness classes (Permission is tied to the business where the piece is performed. A freelance or staff fi tness instructor can’t buy a license that travels with them.)

• Background music at dinner

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) About one of every two songs on the radio is licensed by BMI, says the service. BMI has several licensing structures: see

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) ASCAP represents the ones who write the songs—more than 710,000 songwriters, composers, and publishers. Check the FAQ for some exceptions and how to get the right license:

Society of European Stage Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) They have more than 1 million songs covered by their licensing, and many diff erent types of blanket licenses to suit diff erent types of businesses and situations:

Q. We show movies, TV programs, and other content that we have purchased on DVD or rented through an online streaming service subscription. Do we still need a license to view or show it in our community? A. Yes. The location requires a license re- gardless of who owns the content. While the community may have rented, borrowed, or purchased the content, you are only granted the right to view it for personal, private use, not to perform it in public.

Q. We do not charge admission. Do we still need a license? A. Yes. A license is required regardless of whether an admission fee is charged. In fact, the Umbrella License covers only situations where admission is not charged.


Q. We’re not open to the general public. Do we still need a license? A. Yes. Performances in “semipublic” plac- es such as clubs, lodges, factories, summer camps, and schools are considered “public performances” subject to copyright control.

Q. We’re a nonprofi t organization. Do we still need a license? A. Yes. A license is required for both non- profi t and for-profi t organizations. Cost of the license itself is determined by

community and information such as num- ber of closed-circuit channels or number of residences. More help is available if you need it:

Check the website at, call MPLC at (800) 462-8855. Or you can call Argentum directly at (703) 894-1805.

Get in Line with the Copyright Laws By Sara Wildberger

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