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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every year I set up a very small display. I only ever get 12-20 TOTers each year. I know them all so no complaints. We decorate pumpkins, I built huge spider webs that enclose my porch with a few spiders. I do put a pull down screen and hide my projector under the coffee table on the porch. I play "the great pumpkin charlie brown" I've done it for 5 years with no problems. Last year, the cops showed up and made me turn it off at 6:10. Its illegal to publicly display copyrighted works.

Anybody else have such issues?
 

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Grand Poobah
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Sounds like a crock of shiat to me. I'm sure there is some legal mumbo jumbo that they are following because some jerk passerby or neighbor reported it... but the common sense application is stupid.

You aren't distributing it or charging admission. Essentially, they could tell you to close your blinds if your big screen tv could be seen from the street. And you are projecting on your porch? Ugh...

I'd do it again unless the cops were *shocker* jerks about it last year. Google "The biggest gang in america" for fun.
 

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Yes, what you were doing was illegal. However, I can't believe that the police had nothing better to do than shut you down. Do you think that maybe one of your neighbors complained and they used the copyright issue as an excuse?
 

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Yep, the copywrite of the movie prohibits this. I agree, that it is stupid and that you aren't doing this for profit, but a lot of schools have been sued in recent years for showing movies to kids. I know that many still do this, but where I live, you can't do that. Disney is the worst about taking on lawsuits for their movies.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Technically, the cops are right.

Show Movies In Your School or Library Legally | Performance Licensing
Movie_Viewing2

Quotes from the site:
What constitutes "public performance" of an entertainment movie?
Any showing of an entertainment movie outside the privacy of a home setting is considered a public performance (or public exhibition).


and

This legal copyright compliance requirement applies to public libraries, schools, daycare facilities, parks, recreation departments, summer camps, churches, private clubs, prisons, lodges, businesses, etc.
This legal requirement applies:

* Regardless of whether an admission fee is charged
* Whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit
* Whether a federal, state or local agency is involved


The chances of any movie copyright holder actually coming after a homeowner showing a movie in this context - for a Halloween display - is pretty darn small, but you still face a risk for "inadvertent infringement" that carries a fine minimum of $500 :eek:.

Now personal opinion, I think they should have let you slide for something like this... and have no idea why someone would have reported you. It is silly to enforce it for a small haunter. :(
 

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Grand Poobah
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Meanwhile, the local liquor store was probably being robbed and the clerk savagely beaten...

But thank God they protected a movie studio's rights!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Meanwhile, the local liquor store was probably being robbed and the clerk savagely beaten...

But thank God they protected a movie studio's rights!
Yup, it sucks that they wasted time on that instead of even catching a speeder or something. No one is disagreeing that the law is stupid to enforce for this situation! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm sure that it was a neighbor complaint. I think it is fair use, but it seems the law says otherwise. I would like to use my projector this year to to do a window display. I have 2 old sanyo projectors that I need to replace fans in. If I get one finished in time I may just try the movie again. I remember seeing it on tv everyyear, but not for a long time. When I found it forsale it was like striking gold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Frankie's girl

Thanks for the link.. going to read more. seems my backyard theater is illegal too. it is a close group of friends but...... its not inside the home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No worries about the liquor stores. They are all state owned. Pa is a backwards state on another planet.
 
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Meanwhile, the local liquor store was probably being robbed and the clerk savagely beaten...

But thank God they protected a movie studio's rights!

I was thinking the same thing, pathetic if you ask me. It's a old cartoon for heavens sake, shown to some kids, hardly a reason for the police to turn up (rolls eyes)
 

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WOW.. this is amazing. It has been my understanding that you can't profit from a movie but to shut it down on your own porch so kids can't watch it. Boo Hum Bug. That seems wrong on many levels and I'm sure Charles Shultz wouldn't have been OK with that.
 

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I believe the cops were incorrect on this issue, as copyright infringement is a civil issue and falls under FEDERAL juristiction. That would indicate that the local law enforcement cannot issue a cease order for showing the film under copyright issues. They can, however, issue a cease order for various other issues, including creating a public nuisance, or because your display was so distracting that it impeded traffic in some way...

Craig
 

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I had No idea about this. Thanks for the heads-up. I have a neighbor that has been upset with me since the beginning of summer so the cops will probably end up here when I do my set up this year.Going to do research on this too.
 

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Blaberus craniifer
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Show "Night of the Living Dead"
Its public domain, and perfectly legal.
Great idea Don of the Dead!!!!

What is public domain?
"When a work's copyright or patent restrictions expire, it enters the public domain and may be used by anyone for any purpose."

And for those interested here's a whole list of old public domain movies!!!!!
Public domain movies & films - Movies Found Online

We could set out a few coffin benches and show an old horor movie every night until Halloween!!!! :D
 

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SOOOOO, if you show a movie in your garage, is that considered public or private property? Temporarily enclose your patio with screening material? There has to be a loop hole. That seems BS. So friends come over on movie night and you breaking the law... please.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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You could also show any of the BigScream TV, Hallowindow or other type of dvds created specifically for sale and viewing in a display. They are giving you these videos to use specifically in a haunt display - so no way a cop could shut you down for that!

I would think if you're setting up a private viewing for family/friends in your backyard, you could show whatever you wanted... it's the whole "out in the open where anyone walking by could see it" that constitutes a "public showing" as far as what I've read. If you're in your back yard, watching a movie on a projected screen, people would have to be peeping through the fence to see it - and THAT is an invasion of privacy!

This is one of those silly laws that the cops wouldn't enforce (at least not for a home) unless they're specifically called out to do so... so you have crappy neighbors around you somewhere! ;)
 
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