| MOTION PICTURE LICENSING COMPANY TO HELP PROTECT COPYRIGHT ON FILMS SHOWN IN SOUTH AFRICA
For the first time in South Africa, people who want to show motion pictures where the general, non-paying public can view them, do not have to track down and negotiate with a multitude of copyright holders around the world for authorisation to screen each film.
The umbrella licence offered by the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC) enables businesses and organisations - including clubs, lodges, factories, libraries and schools – to pay a simple annual fee which covers them for the use of all the content of its affiliated producers.
South Africa is the latest addition to the Motion Picture Licensing Company International, which represents over 400 producers and distributors from major Hollywood studios as well as independent producers across the globe.
Sulona Reddy, General Manager of the MPLC says without an MPLC umbrella licence, people have to approach each studio or copyright holder individually and enter into a contract to exhibit a film in public. “This is time-consuming and costly, especially considering that in most cases, the rights holders are based in other countries. By negotiating agreements with all the major studios and producers in over 40 countries, the MPLC saves the licensee the burden of dealing with each individual title holder. With the umbrella license, they fill in a simple application form, send a single payment and renew annually.”
The MPLC supports legal access to motion pictures in more than 20 countries on five continents.
“The MPLC offers unrivalled access to Hollywood studios and independent film makers,” says Reddy. “We licence more than 450 000 locations worldwide. These include multi-national companies, non-profit organisations, government departments, schools, prisons, private clubs, health care facilities, coaches and libraries.”
The MPLC South Africa is signing up local producers and content owners who stand to earn revenue from the public performance of their productions both locally and internationally.
According to Reddy most people are unaware that they are violating the law by screening films in public without the appropriate permission. “We offer a simple, affordable way to comply with the law and compensate the creative community fairly. The long term survival of the film and television industry depends on a culture of compliance,” she says.
In South Africa the MPLC works closely with industry stakeholders such as the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT) and the Copyright and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
SAFACT Chief Executive Officer Corné Guldenpfennig says the company combats piracy on behalf of its members, including the major American film production companies and their subsidiaries represented by the Motion Picture Association.
“We look forward to working with the MPLC to further grow a culture of protecting intellectual property in South Africa,” she says. “With their assistance we can intensify our war against the screening, releasing and selling of unauthorised products. Joining forces means a more coordinated approach, which is also what Government is looking for, instead of dealing with a fragmented industry.”
Reddy says the MPLC offers a vital service to local businesses and organisations. “Public performance licensing is a critical link in the film industry value chain and we can now ensure that copyright holders obtain the revenue that is rightfully due to them.”
For more information visit www.mplcsa.org.
Issued by Martin van Niekerk