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Copyright Compliance for TVs in Orthodontist Offices

Providing entertainment to your patients can help create a positive atmosphere in the waiting room, and in the treatment room.  Whether it is a TV tuned to a favorite channel, or offering the latest movies on demand, this can create a more relaxing and pleasant experience for everyone. 

If a practice shows or would like to show television programs or movies to enhance the patient experience, it is essential that the orthodontist and their team members understand their copyright obligations.

If a practice shows or would like to show television programs or movies to enhance the patient experience, it is essential that the orthodontist and their team members understand their copyright obligations.

The U.S. Copyright Act, Title 17 of the United States Code, gives copyright owners control over the public exhibition of their works. In nearly all cases, this means that a public performance license is required to show copyrighted content in public. Orthodontic, dental and medical offices are considered public spaces when it comes to copyright law. This legal requirement applies whether or not an admission fee is charged, and even if the content can only be viewed by a single patient.

You may be familiar with copyright licensing requirements for music.  Like music licensing, this requirement for a public performance license applies to public showings of movies, TV programs, and other audiovisual content enjoyed from sources like broadcast, cable, or satellite television; DVDs; downloads; or streaming services. Failure to comply with the copyright act constitutes copyright infringement and can result in liability for damages ranging from $750 to $150,000 for each illegal exhibition, plus court costs and attorney fees. 

By showing television and movies without a license, orthodontists could risk significant fines for copyright infringement. For even the casual infringer, the monetary repercussions can be significant. Office staff may not consider copyright law before showing copyright protected audiovisual content or considering programming choices. When it comes to infringement, it does not matter who pushes play.

To increase awareness of this important issue, Motion Picture Licensing Corporation works to educate orthodontists about copyright compliance and provide an affordable public performance licensing solution. With that in mind, AAO has partnered with MPLC to provide a discount for its members on copyright licensing. As a result of AAO efforts, member practices can secure an annual Umbrella License® for only $349 per location, per year. By comparison, nonmembers pay $429.  Orthodontists who secure their license before the end of 2022 can lock in these rates.

“Copyright law supports the production of the movies and TV series that we all love, as well as thousands of jobs behind the camera,” said Trey Lawrence, AAO General Counsel. “AAO is pleased to support copyright compliance and to work with MPLC.”

The Umbrella License allows for unlimited exhibitions at your office with the assurance of copyright compliance. It provides coverage for old and new titles from more than 1,000 motion picture and television rights holders, including Disney, CBS, Warner Bros Discovery, NBCUniversal, Paramount, ABC, Televisa, HGTV, Lionsgate and many more. Once licensed, orthodontists can obtain content on their own TVs or monitors from any authorized source, without the need to report times, dates, or titles shown.

The goal of copyright law is to promote creativity and the arts. To that end, fees from every Umbrella License are shared with MPLC rights holders, to support the next generation of movies and television. These productions employ thousands of people behind the camera, including writers, set designers, camera operators, and make-up artists, to name a few. Moreover, many of these productions film on location across the United States, providing an important economic boost to local businesses and communities.

AAO encourages its members to comply with federal copyright law. To secure an Umbrella License, visit https://orthodontists.mplc.org/ or contact MPLC at 866-552-MPLC (6752) or info@mplc.com

The AAO endorses Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) and its Umbrella License®. MPLC may pay royalty fees to the AAO. These fees are used for the general purposes of the AAO. The AAO does not certify, guarantee, or warrant the products, services, or offerings provided by MPLC, its platform or its employees, agents, subcontractors, or vendor. The AAO will not be liable for any indirect, special, incidental, or consequential loss or damage of any kind, including lost profits (whether or not the parties have been advised of such loss or damage) arising in any way in connection with the products and services offered by MPLC.