Re: [Videolib] R-rated films

James Scholtz (
Tue, 25 Mar 2003 12:45:37 -0600

Hi Anne, The MPAA ratings are just guidelines, not law. In the past, in
some states laws were enacted to basically state "that if a
business/organization rented videos (for a fee), then the MPAA rating had
to be prominently displayed on the outside of the package." The law said
nothing about the actual showing of the program, either privately or to a
group. The one thing that you must be careful of is the public performance
licensing of the videos you are showing - either specifically by title
through the copyright holder (like Disney/MCA, etc.) or through a
site-licensing, blanket coverage like MPLC. You may want to check with
your city legal counsel or attorney general in your state to see if their
are any state implications, etc. for showing specific MPAA rated films
(especially since the theaters have clamped down in many areas). Finally,
it may not be the morally-astute thing to do in your community - you'll
just have to be the barometer. Hope this information helps. Jim Scholtz.

At 01:08 PM 3/25/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>I'm sorry if this is slightly off-topic. Our YA librarian asked me today
>about the legality of showing R-rated films in programs designed for
>teens. Specifically she wanted to know if the "under 17 not admitted
>without parent" was an actual law or just some type of guideline by the
>MPAA. I haven't had much luck finding a concrete answer for her, so I am
>turning to the knowledge of this list. Please feel free to respond off list.
>Anne Bulin, Technology and A/V Coordinator
>Barrington Public Library
>401-247-1920 x316
>Fax: 401-247-3763
>Videolib mailing list

James C. Scholtz, Director
Yankton Community Library
515 Walnut St.
Yankton, SD 57078

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