Copyright. It’s not something you normally think about when you are showing movies at church really is it?
Unfortunately, showing films in any context outside a movie theatre is illegal unless you have a licence to do so.
This is often a tricky area, because people assume that once they have purchased a DVD they have a right to show it in a public context, such as at church. In reality anybody wanting to show a film in a public place must pay the producer of the film a copyright fee.
Fortunately there is a licence that allows you to start showing films at your church and discussing them as soon as you make a one-off, yearly payment. It’s a great way to build community and share the experience of movie watching without disengaging your faith.
Showing Films in Church
For a long time now it’s been difficult to navigate through the maze of movie studios to find out how to be legally licensed to screen movies in your church. Up until this point you’ve had to search far and wide one movie at a time – often to find the licence fee is considerably more than you budgeted for. In many instances churches don’t even know they are breaking the law. Many churches might feel they are covered given existing licensing arrangements but the reality is that to date there has been nothing in place to cover you for movies from some of Hollywood’s biggest studios. Until now that is.
Heritage Films has been working for the past few years to bring to Australian and New Zealand churches an annual movie licence that will cover all the big movie studios. It’s taken some time but the end result is really exciting for you!
It’s called The Big Studio Movie Licence and once you have it in place you are covered for a 12 month period to screen any films from the major studios. For more information and how to sign up and cover your church for movie night click here.