The MDA office has recently been made aware that some dealers across Canada are presenting outdoor movies during the summer as part of customer appreciation efforts in their community.
Audio Cine Films Inc. (ACF) informs us that all public (outside of a private residence) presentations of commercially available movies have to be licensed and authorized by a rights representative such as Audio Cine Films Inc.
Contrary to popular belief, this applies even if the showings are free, for just a few people, or if the movie in question is personally owned or has been purchased in a retail store.
Dealerships wanting to have such events need to contact ACF in order to obtain the proper licenses. ACF is the exclusive public performance rights representative for Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Inc., Universal Studios Canada, Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM Studios, E1 Entertainment, Pixar Animated Films, etc.
Additional information on ACF can be found on the Copyright Board of Canada Website:
Dealers who show outdoor movies expose themselves to liability if they have not obtained permission of the movie rights holder by way of a license. The rights holders have the option to opt for statutory damages which, for commercial infringement is between $500 and $20,000 (or $100 - $5,000 for non-commercial infringement).