If i wanted to open a cafe that was anime themed and charged to watch anime, how can i legally do this? Kind of like a Howie's Game shack where they charge you for time playing games on the different consoles and PCs, but instead of games, with anime. Can i simply make sure that we own an actual hard copy? or would a deal have to be worked out with the various anime production companies? I'm not sure how that all works "Legally" and i definitely wouldn't want to do anything illegally and be sued...
2 Answers from Attorneys
If you plan on charging patrons to see publically someone else's copyrighted works then you will require a license. ASCAP and BMI do not cover video licenses, but I think you should consult with an IP lawyer in private first so your objectives are entirely clear and a best course of action can be reached. If these are films you may be able to license through the MPAA or another licensing entity such as SWANK. This page offers a nice overview:
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DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.
You will need to get rights, and it is not possible to outline what you need without seeing your exact business plan. You should definitely consult with a knowledgeable entertainment and intellectual property attorney before you finalize your plans. You can go over your ideas, proposed products, and services in a detailed way and get specific advices customized to your situation. If you do not have funds for an attorney in your budget for company set-up, you need to add them. Especially for the type of venture you propose, having things set up legally is critical.
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