Not in the USA?
Choose another country to see content specific to your region.

Knowledge

FAQs

I already have a cable or satellite business package. Do I also need an Umbrella License?

You do if you want a low-cost way to limit the risk of copyright infringement lawsuits from rightsholders of unlicensed programming included in these packages. That’s because your cable or satellite business package almost certainly does not protect you against such claims. As far as we are aware, none of these business package agreements include any warranty that the package includes all necessary public performance rights, meaning you may have no recourse against the provider if it turns out that they don’t in fact have all necessary public performance rights. And almost all of them offer no indemnity against copyright infringement lawsuits from rightsholders of unlicensed programming. This means that subscribers like you could be left on the hook for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of copyright infringement liability.

That is not to say that you do not need these commercial business packages. You very much do, for several reasons. First and foremost – they provide your organization with great content! MPLC does not provide content – we provide rights to air that content legally in public. Second, they provide your organization with the necessary rights to publicly display the channels in their packages—something else that MPLC does not provide. And third, they provide your organization with valuable public performance rights for certain portions of the underlying content, e.g., live sports, channel-owned content, and even some individual movies and TV shows.

But they do not include anything like all of the public performance rights you need to minimize your risk of liability—there is a remaining gap, and it is significant. Our license goes far to fill this gap by covering wide swathes of programming that their business package does not.

How does the MPLC Public Performance License for TV  and Movies work in practice?

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are very affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately. 

You pay us a simple, affordable annual fee based on the type and size of your site, location or business. 

You do not need to report to us, or anyone else, which TV  or movies that you show. You are free to show any licensed program at any time and without limits or restrictions.

You can use any legal media as a source of . That includes broadcast on television, DVD’s, satellite, cable TV channels or viewed from the internet. – anything that is intended to be “for personal private use only”. When you have an MPLC Public Performance License that removes the “personal private use” restriction from the media that you use.

The only restrictions are that you cannot charge an admission fee to watch movies or programs and you cannot advertise the fact that you are showing a specific film or show to anyone other than a closed group of the patrons of your licensed premises.

If you want to charge an admission fee or promote the showing of a specific film or show in a more public way then you need a Single Title Movie License, which we can also help you with.

Who else has an MPLC license? And do any of them also have cable/satellite business TV channel packages?

MPLC has been in business for over 35 years and has provided licenses to tens of thousands of businesses, government entities and non-profit organizations across the US and in 33 other countries around the world. MPLC’s US licensees include well-known restaurant chains, the major hotel brands, healthcare networks, Fortune 500 companies, auto dealerships, campgrounds, property management companies, HOA and apartment communities, federal, state and local government agencies and small and medium sized businesses who want to operate their businesses in compliance with all federal laws, including the Copyright Act.

MPLC also works with the top restaurant/bar, dental, senior living, campground, auto dealership (and more) associations to help their members continue to publicly perform TV, news, and film content (legally) at their premises. And most, if not all, of these tens of thousands of MPLC licensees also have cable/satellite business channel TV packages to deliver content to their premises, in recognition of the fundamentally complementary nature of these channel packages with the underlying content that MPLC licenses.

How much does the license cost?

MPLC determines license fees based on the type of facility and intended license use. We strive to provide simple and affordable license solutions.

What happens if we choose not to comply with the Copyright Act?

Failure to comply with the Copyright Act can result in serious financial consequences, ranging from $750 to $150,000 for each illegal exhibition, plus court costs and attorney fees. These can really add up. For example, a defendant in one case was required to pay $36,000 in damages and over $160,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for playing unlicensed music.

I need a copy of an invoice

For a copy of your last or any other invoice you can use our Customer Support form, and we’ll send you one straight away.

Is the MPLC license genuine?

Yes it is.

We have been working with and representing the major copyright holders including major Hollywood studios and local producers for over 35 years. We have contracts with them, and you can read testimonials from them here.

You can also read bios of some of the team who work at MPLC here.

We work very carefully to ensure we operate with the strictest standards of ethics and integrity to manage the whole licensing process. For example, we seek to record all telephone calls held with our licensing representatives so that we can check and make sure you are always provided with correct information as to when you do and don’t need an MPLC license.

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately.

Is MPLC a legitimate organization?

We understand that if you have not heard of MPLC before, you will want to be sure we are a legitimate organization.

We have been working with and representing the major copyright holders including major Hollywood studios and local producers for over 35 years. We have contracts with them, and you can read testimonials from them here.

We also work with dozens of major trade associations across the USA whom we help to educate their members about public performance licenses at their facilities. These include the American Dental Association, National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, and the National Institute of Senior Centers.

You can also read about the people who work for MPLC here.

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV  in a public or commercial space.

Once I have an MPLC Public Performance License, can I advertise a movie or program that I want to show?

Yes : You can use the program or film title and character names in internal advertisements within your building, office or facility and on direct communications to people that you know by email, text, or letter. You can also use this information when responding to direct inquiries from individuals such as by email or instant messaging.

You can also advertise a “Movie Night” or “Children’s Movie Night”, for example, to the general public, as long as no film or TV program title (or description that identifies a specific film or TV program title), character names, or names of directors, producers, actors, etc. are used in the advertisement.

No: You cannot use the program or film title and character names publicly on a website or social media account, billboard, advertisement or any other publicly visible media. Bars and Restaurants with minimum age requirements may have additional restrictions on advertising – please contact us for details.

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV  in a public or commercial space.

What is an Umbrella License?

The term “Umbrella License” is another, older name for the MPLC Public Performance License.

We changed the name in 2023 to make things simpler to understand. There is only one license though and there is no difference between an Umbrella License and an MPLC Public Performance License. You may see both names used on documents and materials as we transition.

An MPLC Public Performance license is required to legally show movies and TV to the public or any closed user group of customers, members or other people. The license is affordable, easy to buy and covers you and your business immediately.

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show licensed movies and TV programs in a public or commercial space.

How much does an MPLC Public Performance License cost?

The MPLC Public Performance License is a simple, affordable annual fee. You don’t need to tell us which movies you are showing or watching, there is no ongoing reporting or admin paperwork.

The cost of a license depends on:

  • What sector or industry you are in
  • How big your premises are
  • How many locations you have
  • How many employees you have

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV  in a public or commercial space.

How long does an MPLC license last for?

An MPLC Public Performance License allows you to show all the licensed movies and TV content you want in your business or commercial setting for a period of one year.

You don’t need to tell us which movies or you plan to show.

Towards the end of the year we will contact you to renew your license.

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are affordable, easy to buy and can be put in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV  in a public or commercial space.

Can I use DVD’s and Blu-ray videos in public spaces?

Yes, you can, but to do this legally you likely need to buy an MPLC Public Performance License which collects a small amount of money from you to pay to the content producers and Hollywood studios that made the contents of the DVD or Blu-ray that you are showing.

DVD’s and Blu-ray disks will include the text “for personal, private use only” on the packaging. When you have an MPLC Public Performance License, you can exceed that limitation as you have paid the extra amount required to show the content publicly.

MPLC Public Performance Licenses are affordable, easy to buy and can be in place immediately. They are the legal way to show movies and TV  in a public or commercial space.

Your questions answered

We’re here for you…