Copyright & Patents/IP Movie clip


Wondering can numerous movie clips be shown (with no sound) on a screen (in the background) during a paid event?  If so, is there a time limit?  Can we also show full movie trailers?


I would advise against what you suggest as the movie studio owns the copyright to the movie.

Several exclusive rights typically attach to the holder of a copyright.  They include the following rights--

   to produce copies or reproductions of the work and to sell those copies
   to import or export the work
   to create derivative works (works that adapt the original work)
   to perform or display the work publicly
   to sell or assign these rights to others
   to transmit or display by radio or video.

Without permission from the owner of the copyright, another is not even allowed to display a still from the movie.

The most common exception is for "Fair Use."

A reviewer may fairly cite largely from the original work, if his design be really and truly to use the passages for the purposes of fair and reasonable criticism. On the other hand, it is as clear, that if he thus cites the most important parts of the work, with a view, not to criticize, but to supersede the use of the original work, and substitute the review for it, such a use will be deemed in law a piracy...

In short, we must often... look to the nature and objects of the selections made, the quantity and value of the materials used, and the degree in which the use may prejudice the sale, or diminish the profits, or supersede the objects, of the original work.

I hope that this helps and good luck!

Best regards,

  --Gerald R. Black
    Attorney and Counselor  

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Gerald R. Black


Intellectual Property Patents Global Patent Rights PCT Technology Transfer Copyrights Trademarks


Registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office Admitted to Practice Law in Michigan, California, and Ohio

Capital University Law School - JD University of Cincinnati - BSME

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