Everybody is buzzing about two recent summer movies–Barbie and Oppenheimer. “Barbie” set the record as the biggest opening weekend ever for a female director. Well-done, Greta Gerwig. “Oppenheimer” also shattered expectations. According to Variety, “Barbenheimer” fueled the fourth-biggest box office weekend in history.
Music and movies are often part of fun occasions in communities, especially during the summer.
Community associations should know how to avoid potential copyright infringement during events. Copyright law is complex and technological advances in how we use and listen to music and watch movies have added more confusion to the mix.
Some copyright issues, particularly pertaining to community associations, are unsettled or have yet to be addressed by the courts. A basic understanding of copyright law may help community associations assess their potential liability and develop best practices.
Generally, most music and movies are protected by copyright. The owner of the copyright has the exclusive rights to reproduce and copy the work, prepare derivative works, distribute, and perform the copyrighted work publicly.
If a community association publicly plays music or screens a movie, they must obtain a license unless an exception applies. Licenses are obtained from performance rights organizations that also enforce licenses for copyright owners. Use of copyrighted work without a license constitutes infringement regardless of whether the user has knowledge the work is protected by copyright or intended to infringe on the work.
Let me know if you see “Barbie” “Oppenheimer” or both. Enjoy your summer!