Re: performance fees

Marilyn Huntley (
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 10:52:34 -0700 (PDT)

I saw your question while on vacation at home last week and would have
liked to respond right away. Didn't have my catalogs with me, and couldn't
have replied to the list from my home e-mail address anyway.

Gary is right that you will need public performance rights for both film
series. Neither plan fits the definition of an exempt face-to-face teaching
situation: your intention in both cases is to invite individuals other
than those enrolled in the class, and on top of that, I believe I detect in
the word "invite" the likelihood of your doing some *advertising* (a very
big no-no, unless your movie is licensed for public showing).

If you want guidelines for this, there might still be available from the
Motion Picture Association of America a dandy little video piracy brochure,
called "Public Performance." My copy of the brochure is from 1996, but I
still use it to explain video licensing to campus organizations. Call the
MPAA at 818-995-6600 to inquire. Also, take a look at the Motion Picture
Licensing Corporation website; follow their menu to pages on copyright law,
FAQ's, and copyright links:

However, don't get too excited about the idea of buying a blanket video
license, which you'll read about on that website. Unfortunately, colleges
are not included in MPLC's "umbrella video licensing" arrangements. I
corresponded by e-mail on 3/2/99 with Dennis Weightman, Manager of
Licensing at MPLC, and here's his reply: "Thank you for your inquiry.
Indeed, MPLC still does not have the rights to license showings on college
and university campuses. Should we obtain these rights, we will be in
contact." If you operate a school, church, day care center, camp, etc., the
MPLC can help you, but not us folks at colleges. We still have to make
arrangements for movie showings, one at a time, with whichever company
currently holds the distribution rights to each title.

Swank's catalog lists The Mummy (both the 1932 and 1959 versions), The
Graduate, Manchurian Candidate, 2 versions of Othello (& one of Otello),
and West Side Story.

I'm not sure which movie you mean by "Big Man, Little Man." Is it Little
Big Man? (1970 - Dustin Hoffman is Jack Crabb, about 100 years old as the
film begins. He recounts being captured and raised by indians, becoming a
gunslinger, marrying an indian, watching her killed by General George
Armstrong Custer, and becoming a scout for him at Little Big Horn.) Swank
has this.

Or could it be The Big Man? (1991 - Liam Neeson plays a two-fisted mine
worker who's been blackballed out of work. He accepts an offer from a
mysterious millionaire to fight bare-knuckled, but begins to worry that
he's abandoned his principles for some quick cash. Based on William
McIlvanney's novel The Big Man.) I don't know who distributes it.

Maybe it's Fat Man and Little Boy? (1989 - Film about the development of
the atomic bomb, personalizing the story by focusing on General Groves
[Paul Newman], the bullheaded Army officer who was handed the job, and the
brilliant J. Robert Oppenheimer, who organized the brain trust creating the
bomb.) Swank has it.

Hope this helps.
Marilyn Huntley

>>1. We would like to offer a film series in the Library Bldg. We want to
>>show 4 movies in a quarter. Each film or video will be associated with a
>>class such as an English class or a political science class. We would
>>only offer the series to students of the college. There will be a
>>lecture involved with the showing. We envision less than 30 students
>>2. We would also like to offer a film series which will be at a small
>>outdoor pavilion on the campus. At this film series we would like to
>>invite the public as well as a the campus community. It still would be
>>associated with a class but we would like to invite others to this
>>series. Possibly 100 people might attend this series.
>>Both of these film series will be sponsored by the library.
>>Do we to pay performance fees for both of these? How do we find out who
>>we need to pay the money to? What other things do we need to take into
>>Some of the movies that faculty have asked for are:
>>The original _Mummy_
>>_The Graduate_
>>_Big Man, Little Man_
>>_Manchurian Candidate_
>>_Westside Story_
>>Are there guidelines somewhere for this? Can you buy a blanket
>>performance rights like for music?
>>Thanks for the help in advance!!!
>>Best regards,
>>Debbie Holmes
>Gary Handman
>Media Resources Center
>Moffitt Library
>UC Berkeley 94720-6000
>"Everything wants to become television" (James Ulmer -- Teletheory)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Marilyn B. Huntley, Audiovisual Assistant
Audiovisual Classroom Services
Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Rd., Clinton, NY 13323
Phone 315-859-4120; Fax 315-859-4687