FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions


What constitutes a public performance?
Any exhibition of a movie outside the privacy of a home setting is considered a public performance.
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What if a video store or equipment provider says it is okay to exhibit rented or purchased movies?
These stores rent and sell movies for “home use only” and cannot provide legal permission for use outside the home. You can only obtain licensing directly from a licensor (such as Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.), not from a third party.
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Who bears the responsibility if a film is shown without a license?
The management of the venue or premises where the movie is shown bears the ultimate responsibility and consequences of copyright infringement. However, anyone involved with the public performance of copyrighted material should seek compliance.
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A small group is having an informal gathering in our facility. Do we still need a license?
Yes! A license needs to be obtained regardless of the number of people attending the screening, if the movie is being shown outside your home.
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Why is Swank HealthCare appointed to issue these Public Performance Licenses?
Since 1937, Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. has been distributing Public Performance Licenses and exclusive licensed movies to non-theatrical markets including U.S. colleges and universities, hospitals, cruise ships, public schools, libraries, motor coaches, Amtrak trains and correctional facilities. Swank has been appointed by major film studios as their licensing agent to provide a Public Performance License for legal public performance of movies. The license fees compensate the copyright owners and the men and women who work on the film’s production. These royalties are the way publishers, authors and composers are paid for their work.
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What are the restrictions of the license for my movie?
Your films are licensed for a specific time frame to exhibit only at the agreed upon facility. Violation of this is subject to the penalties set forth in the Federal Copyright Act. No movie or any portion thereof may be copied or duplicated in any manner. Television, broadcasting or any type of electronic transmission of any Swank movie may only be done in extraordinary circumstances and must be pre-approved in writing by Swank and at different specified rates. Infraction of this violates the Federal Copyright Statutes and carries a penalty of up to $5,000.
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Are there any advertising restrictions?
These motion pictures are specifically licensed for non-theatrical showings only. Advertising through media such as public radio, public television or general public newspaper is strictly prohibited. Advertising must be used exclusively to inform members or staff of movie showings via on-premises bulletin boards or direct mail.
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Who do I call for billing and payment information?
For questions involving invoices and payments, please contact your Swank Account Executive at 1-888-485-7182.
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If movies are donated to the hospital, can I use them legally?
The manner in which you obtain the movies does not change the public performance setting; therefore, it would not be legal and you must obtain permission.
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Do we need a license if we do not charge patients to see the movies?
Yes! A license is required for all public performances regardless of whether there are admission charges or fees.
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What format can I receive movies in?
You may receive the movies in the format that best suits the equipment at your hospital. However, the most advantageous way to receive the movies is on our Digital Media Player, which is a special computer that works with your closed-circuit television system. It is programmed to play the movies in the patients’ rooms automatically at times you specify.
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Does the Digital Media Player require a lot of space?
The Digital Media Player is the same size as a desktop computer. There is also a rack-mount model, which allows for even more space savings.
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I have some custom programs I’d like the patients to view, can I add them to the Digital Media Player?
Yes! In addition to the movies, you can add your own patient education programs, special announcements and other content to the Digital Media Player.
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Are the movies available in Spanish?
Yes, you can use two channels to deliver the movies in both English & Spanish simultaneously.
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"Children watch 3 times more television while in the hospital than they do at home. So, having family friendly, commercial free movies is critical to our patient satisfaction… more"
-Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Cleveland

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