You need a public performance license:
If you show movies or clips from movies/TV programs for public viewing (unless you are showing ‘live-fee’ YouTube material)
Public viewing includes every time your show a video in the church building during programming or worship or fundraising
It doesn’t matter whether you own or rent the movie/clip
The Canadian Copyright Act applies in all cases, even if films are personally owned, brought in from outside sources, obtained from rental outlets, or purchased in retail stores. It applies if films are shown freely, partially, or to small groups, for educational or fundraising purposes. Additional information concerning copyright can be obtained from the Copyright Board of Canada.
Summary: Without a public performance license you are breaking current copyright laws.
1. Spice Up Your Worship
Engaging your congregation with some video clips is a great way to have a message be more well understood, visualize the concept, and make it applicable to day-to-day life. There are some great movies that help with key learnings.
2. Have a Fundraiser.
Movies are a great community gathering opportunity. Whether you have it in the parking lot or grassy area under the stars in the summer or if you turn your sanctuary into a movie theatre, these are both opportunities for a fundraiser and gathering the community outside of Sunday.
3. Great for Rural!
For rural and small towns without movie theatres, this is a great opportunity to help engage the local community and provide a fun activity to do. In 2019 there is a new release license as an additional option, where you can show movies that are still in theatres!
The main public performance video licensing organizations in Canada are Criteron and ACF. Collectively they represent the vast majority of the production companies, allowing you to show most movies and clips at your community of faith.
Criterion Pictures Includes:
New Line Cinema
Sony Pictures Classics
Alliance Films Inc.
Big Idea, Inc. (Veggie Tales)
20th Century Fox
Fine Line Features
Audio Cine Films Inc. Includes:
Pixar Animation Studios
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Universal Studios Canada (plus others)
Walt Disney Pictures
If you are interested in registering your community of faith for a Public Performance License, then please email Alexandra Belaskie.
Current licenses are available from March to December, and information about renewal will be distributed in October each year.
Please select the correct province that your community of faith is within. When you click on the province, the application form will download to your computer in a Word document format.