Re: PPR and limits on promotion/publicity
Mon, 17 Dec 2001 15:11:10 -0800 (PST)

In a message dated 12/17/01 4:38:31 PM, writes:

<< This has come up before, but I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who
publicly shows films/videos in a library (not a classroom setting) and who
has dealt with either Motion Picture Licensing Corp. or Modern Sound
Pictures Inc. Both of them state that public advertisting of licensed
films/videos is prohibited. So how is one supposed to promote the
screenings? Is in-house publicity allowed? It seems like a ridiculous
limitation, esp. considering the high licensing fees involved. >>

And that, Mike, is THE advantage of dealing with the smaller distributors who
actually like our customers and want people coming to our films. As I
remember my contracts with Swank and Films Inc from several decades ago,
on-site publicity is allowed, but no outside ads or flyers were permitted.
(Okay, I ignored both clauses, but it was the 70s and it was good training in
civil disobedience.)

The publicity prohibition goes back to the days before video and when films
could run in theaters for a year. This was a way for the nontheatrical
companies to prevent conflicts with the local theaters and the studios.
Nowadays, with films lasting a month at most theatrically and many videos out
three months after release, this almost never happens. But the clause remains
because the studios and the big distributors (Swank primarily) either don't
want to think OR change things because they fear making a mistake. In fact,
Swank enforces this no-ad rule fairly strictly, which is just bizarre to me.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (201) 767-3117 or (800) 603-1104
Fax: (201) 767-3035