Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Minnesota

DO i need permission to play a movie for a pirvate club?

Asked on 7/30/12, 2:20 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Mitchell Interaction Law
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0 attorneys agreed

Maybe. Maybe not. First, is the movie still under copyright? If not, no permission is needed. Second, will you be performing it "publicly"? The answer to that question can be tricky, but keep in mind that absolutely no permission is needed unless the work is being performed publicly. The full definition is at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/101, but the key part for purposes of your question seems to be this:

"To perform or display a work “publicly” means—

(1) to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; . . . ."

You may need a lawyer to help draw the line on whether the private club is "open to the public," but even if it is not, the question remains whether the second part of the test is met.

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7/30/12, 10:25 pm

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