Service centers across the U.S. have received upsetting phone calls, letters and/or emails warning them of violating copyright by showing television programs in their waiting areas.
The following is one example of what many service centers have received:
“Following from my call with (withheld) today, we ask that you review the following information.
TV programs and movies from our studio partners screened within showrooms, customer waiting areas, staff break rooms, in-car audio-visual systems demos, or other similar areas, will require a license from MPLC for legal compliance. This is regardless of the source and applies to showings from broadcast, cable, satellite, streaming services or DVD/Blu-ray.
If you do screen television programs and/or movies in any area of your business, please obtain the necessary license from MPLC. To further clarify, the MPLC license is typically required in addition to any other license the business may already hold.
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.”
To be clear on two main points in this regard:
1. Displaying television and/or movie programs without the proper licensing is illegal and can cost businesses money.
2. AutoNetTV customers who display the Lobby TV (aka Car Care Entertainment TV) program are NOT in violation of any licensing rights.
Any business with a publicly accessible facility (service center, dentist, barber, gym, nail salon, et al) falls under “public performance” when showing television or movie programs. So, without obtaining a separate license for public performance, a business may NOT show or play DVDs (even if you purchased them), streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ESPN+, etc, broadcast or cable television (unless you obtain the appropriate Business subscription package, which is more expensive than the package obtained for your residence). Each of these examples are authorized for “personal, non-commercial" display only. Businesses have been successfully sued for having a separate children’s play area in their waiting room that was playing DVDs on a loop, when there was no separate public performance license obtained.
AutoNetTV has had several of the licensing bureaus reach out to its customers over the past 18 years, and never has a bureau: a) contest AutoNetTV’s recitation of licenses to lawfully display content in a public setting, or b) contest its customers after learning that they properly licensed the program though AutoNetTV.
All of AutoNetTV’s automotive service content (Car Care Videos) is created, copyrighted, and owned by AutoNetTV, and all the entertainment content is legally licensed from its partners (such as Game Show Network, etc.). With a subscription to AutoNetTV’s Lobby TV (Car Care Entertainment TV) program, you are protected against these types of lawsuits, fines or penalties, and any additional public performance licensing requirements.
To learn more about AutoNetTV’s Lobby TV (Car Care Entertainment TV) program, click HERE.