An elementary school in Berkeley, California hosted a PTA fundraiser . . . and they played last year’s remake of “The Lion King” to keep the kids happy. But somehow Disney found out about it, and the company that handles their licensing sent the school a $250 fine for playing the movie without permission. The DVD was purchased legally at a Best Buy, but that doesn’t matter.
The school got an email saying that Disney “received an alert” about the “screening,” and, quote, “Any time a movie is shown outside of the home, legal permission is needed to show it, as it is considered a Public Performance.
“If a movie is shown for any entertainment reason . . . even in the classroom, it is required by law that the school obtains a Public Performance license.”
The PTA made $800 during the fundraiser . . . but now they’re begrudgingly coughing up the $250 fine.
Naturally, a lot of people are upset . . . and one parent said that it’s a shame underfunded schools have to raise money to pay teachers and manage school programs . . . partially because of the GREED of big corporations like Disney.
The parent pointed out that California is letting Disney slide by on a property assessment that was taken in 1978 . . . and so they’re saving “millions upon millions of dollars a year” that they should be paying in property taxes. (That’s reportedly thanks to a loophole in a proposition that passed in ’78.)
Disney hasn’t commented . . . but they’d probably argue that they have to protect their copyright, even if it’s a school fundraiser.
So, obviously, it’s more about enforcement than money for Disney, since it surely cost them more than $250 to have the lawyer craft that fine letter to the PTA.
Still, it seems absurd. And supposedly, people have reached out to the school to help the PTA with donations. (They’ve been directing people to this link.)
Speaking of Disney, they’ve announced that in just three months, Disney+ has already racked up more than 28.6 MILLION paid subscribers.
Thanks for all of your emails/tweets regarding “Emerson vs Disney.” A few people have asked how they can help support Emerson PTA.
Here is a link. Thank you for your generosity. https://t.co/voY45ctIlm
— Lori Droste (@loridroste) February 3, 2020