May 2021 Volume LVI Number 3


Member Benefit Spotlight: Showing Movies in your Dental Office?

Discounted Licensing Fees Now Available

May 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 3

As highlighted in the Nov. 2011 PDT Litch’s Law Log column and the Feb. 8, 2012, issue of AAPD E-News, copyrighted motion pictures (and other programs available for rental or purchase) are intended for personal, private, home use only. Exhibitions outside of the home, such as in a dental office, require a public performance license. Fortunately, you can easily insure copyright compliance at your office thanks to an agreement AAPD recently reached with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC). AAPD members now receive a discount on the MPLC Umbrella License, an annual license that protects your office from copyright infringement when movies and other programs are shown. Below are additional details from MPLC, which will also be exhibiting at the AAPD Annual Session in San Diego.

These days it is common to see children’s film and television favorites from Disney, DreamWorks, and Nickelodeon playing in pediatric dental offices around the country. If your practice is like most, you probably show movies as a simple and affordable means of entertainment. Whether in a waiting area or an exam room, the sight of a familiar children’s character can be enough to calm the most apprehensive young patient. Such exhibitions create a youthful and inviting environment, enjoyed by parents and children alike.

However, with video use growing in popularity, it is important to understand the copyright law before you press play. According to the US Copyright Act, Title 17 of the United States Code, copyrighted motion pictures and other programs that are available for rental or purchase in any legal format, are intended for personal, private, home use only. Exhibitions outside of the home, such as within a medical office, require a public performance license. Regardless of whether or not an admission fee is charged, this legal requirement applies equally to for and non-profit organizations. Fines for non-compliance start at $750 for each inadvertent infringement and go as high as $150,000 for each egregious violation.

In the past, you may not have known or understood that a license is required to show movies within your practice. The AAPD has negotiated an agreement with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) on behalf of its membership in an effort to educate members of the need for copyright compliance.

The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) is an independent copyright licensing agency exclusively authorized by motion picture studios and producers to grant the MPLC Umbrella License® for the public performance of copyrighted
audiovisual works. The MPLC represents a diverse body of over 400 motion picture producers ranging from major Hollywood studios like Disney and Warner Bros., to educational, children’s, family friendly, and television producers. The Umbrella License is valid for a year of unlimited exhibitions and renews annually. Once licensed, movies may be obtained from any legitimate source, whether purchased, borrowed, rented, downloaded or streamed.

Your office may be one of many that already holds an Umbrella License for the assurance of copyright compliance. Over 250,000 facilities in the United States and over 200,000 locations in more than 20 countries have the Umbrella License for copyright compliance. From the smallest camps and public libraries, to the largest multi-national corporations and federal government agencies, organizations turn to the MPLC for their licensing needs.

Effective February 2012, the AAPD has negotiated a reduced license fee for its membership below the annual fee of $325. AAPD members that obtain an Umbrella License before April 30, 2012, will pay only $275 annually. However, due to the publication date of this article, the MPLC has agreed to extend the deadline to May 31, 2012. Once licensed, you will be locked into this rate for future years, with the exception of a CPI increase. Thereafter, any AAPD member that applies will pay $300 annually. So we encourage you to act now and save money this year and every future year. If your office has already secured an Umbrella License, simply contact the MPLC to receive a discounted renewal rate of $275 and an extension on your license.

Creating a kid-friendly environment at your practice is as easy as pressing play. Just make sure you have the appropriate license before doing so. AAPD encourages members to comply with federal copyright law through the purchase of an Umbrella License for any planned or inadvertent video use. The cost of an annual license is much less than the penalties for copyright infringement.

To obtain an Umbrella License and additional information about the MPLC, please contact the MPLC directly at (800) 462-8855 or online at and ask for the AAPD discount. MPLC will guide you through the necessary
steps to secure a license and assist you in completing an application. You may also contact C. Scott Litch at AAPD at with any additional questions about the need for public performance licensing in dental practices.