re there any legal issues with playing copyrighted DVD movies at my nightclub?

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Question: I recently opened up a nightclub and I plan to play DVDs of Kung Fu movies on our projector during our dance party.  Will I encounter any legal troubles?  Am I required to pay any royalties to the owners of the movies?

Response: It is required that you pay royalties when you publicly display a copyrighted work. A copyright is the exclusive right of the author of a literary or artistic property (such as a book, movie or musical composition) to print, copy, sell, license, distribute, transform to another medium, translate, record or perform or otherwise use (or not use) and to give it to another by will for a set period of time. You will need to check if the DVD you are playing has a current copyright. If you don't obtain a license, permission, or have a royalty agreement before you display the work, you would be liable for copyright infringement which is defined as the unauthorized use of material that is covered by copyright law.  The American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers (ASCAP) are an organization that offers information on obtaining licenses to play copyrighted media.  You may visit their link below.  Moving forward, it would be best to consult with an Entertainment Lawyer to determine the best course of action for your case.

Answered by Jason Tong 

Additional Resource: ASCAP

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