Hard-Working Crew Benefits from Required Licensing
St. Louis, MO, June 25, 2010 -- There has been much press recently regarding necessary licenses for motorcoach operators and the auditors traveling the roadways to identify offenders. The law states that regardless of whether a Motorcoach company, the chartering group or the passengers provide and show a movie, the Motorcoach company is responsible to obtain a public performance license to legally entertain passengers and to be compliant with U.S. Copyright Laws.
Obtaining a legal license to show movies is affordable and can save Motorcoach companies thousands of dollars in potential fines. However, another very good reason to obtain a license is the fact that a public performance license supports the hard-working men and women of the movie industry. Although most people associate the movie industry with leading actors and directors, the rich and famous make up a very small percentage of the movie industry. The vast majority of people who make their living making movies are hard working Americans, just like motorcoach operators and their passengers. You probably will never walk the red carpet or grace the cover of a magazine, and neither will the folks who rely on licensing to make a living. There will never be a TV show that showcases the home (or ‘crib’) or the luxurious lifestyle of a gaffer, grip or production assistant, but each one plays an integral role in the production of a film.
All the names and positions that scroll across the screen during the ending credits of a movie are the people responsible for the making of that film. These positions include publishers, graphic artists, composers, animators, and the entire production crew. Licenses pay royalties that compensate these employees for their hard work. Royalties are the shares paid out of the proceeds resulting from the sale, performance or use of their work.
If these men and women lose ownership of their work and don’t receive royalty revenue, much of which is collected through licensing fees, there would be little incentive for them to continue to invest their time, research and development costs to create future endeavors. The entire movie industry and motorcoach passengers’ entertainment options would suffer as a result.
According to job searching website SimplyHired.com, the average salary for movie production crewmembers is $26,000. While the “stars” of a film have their multi-million dollar salaries worked out in advance and are paid upon completion of the film, the production crewmembers must wait for their full compensation to trickle in through royalties. What’s more, most production crews work from project to project; meaning that when one film wraps, many don’t know when their next job will come.
Thom Davis, of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts Union Local 80 confirmed “revenue from licensing has the biggest impact on the backend, in terms of health and welfare coverage for our members.”
The Motion Picture Association of America and its member companies are dedicated to stopping film and video piracy in all its forms, including unauthorized public performances. The motion picture companies can go to court to ensure their copyrights are not violated. Showing a movie without a license can subject a coach operator to civil penalties ranging from $750 to $30,000 per movie, or as high as $150,000 per movie if the unlicensed showing was committed willfully.
“If a company exhibits a film without the proper licensing, it’s downright theft. They are literally stealing a product they do not own,” said Davis.
Obtaining a legal license to show movies is easy and affordable. There are two types of licensing available for motorcoaches. A traditional Movie Leasing Plan provides motorcoaches with both the license and the movies, including edited versions. A Fleet Licensing service option provides only the license for the motorcoach to legally exhibit movies that they or their customers own, borrow or rent. Discounts available for members of certain Motorcoach associations.
Both forms of public performance licenses can be obtained through Motorcoach Movies (www.motorcoachmovies.com), the exclusive licensor for the majority of the major Hollywood studios. Once licensed, Motorcoach operators can show movies licensed for “Home Use Only” by leasing titles from Motorcoach Movies or by renting, buying or borrowing titles from a video store or other legal source.
Motorcoach Movies is division of Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. and provides the Public Performance Fleet License to coaches, which satisfies the copyright protection needed when entertainment movies are shown on coaches. Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. is headquartered in St. Louis, MO, and is operated by Tim Swank, Chairman.