Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Show Must- and CAN- Go On

Image via Custom Home Theater

I feel that I need to follow up on this with you, since I put a a big ol' post on how to get movies through your Wii. After that post, I received a couple of emails about the licensing issue with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC). As a quick review, way back in the 1980's (yes some of us were already around back then) we started hearing about how the MPLC wasn't happy that movies were being shown in nursing homes and assisted living facilities without these facilities having been licensed to show movies. I understand about intellectual property but the MPLC didn't feel that these types of facilities were private homes and therefore needed to purchase a not very cheap license to show movies. Congress got involved, yada yada yada, and a temporary agreement was reached that allowed our facilities to show movies.

Photo by Michael Newman via Flickr

Fast forward ten years to 2001, when the agreement  expired. Showing movies had by then become a standard practice in  nursing facilities. Really- how much easier could it be to go rent or buy a VHS movie and plug it into a VCR? Ah, suddenly I'm thinking fondly about John Denver on 8-track..... but I wander. Anyway, no one seemed to be paying much attention to the licensing issue any more and life seemed to go on its merry way.

Image via tvtropes

Until the MPLC realized that Continuous Care Retirement Communities were ALSO showing movies. And that really, a whole lot of places were showing movies. So they started sniffing around. As I started sniffing around to follow up on this issue, I learned that it has been rumored that the MPLC was even sending out spy-type folks to see just who all was showing movies. Well, all of us, right?

Image via Virtual Village

So enter the lawyers, time goes by, much debate is carried out, and finally another agreement was reached. Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities are now exempt from a licensing requirement to show movies as part of their programming. Yippee!

BUT.... any facility with independent living arrangements of any type, located anywhere on the grounds (i.e. a wing of the same building, a separate building across the parking lot, etc) must purchase a license, based upon the number of independent living units, to show movies if residents in these independent quarters have access to the common areas of the nursing or assisted living facilities where movies are being shown. I'm sorry- that was a terribly long sentence. In other words, Independent Andy can watch a movie in his own apartment but he cannot purchase, rent, or show a movie to other residents in a common area of the independent facility. Neither can he stroll over to the nursing facility on movie night to catch a flick with his buddy who has moved to the "side" of the community.

Image via Mini-Van Monologues

ALSO (because lawyers like to be thorough), any facility with closed circuit systems that show movies through out the facility, on Movie Monday or whatever, must purchase a license, based again on number of living quarters. The license must renewed yearly.

Click on this link to jump over to the AHC/NCAL website for for more info. I had hoped to get this post up for you sooner, when this was first announced in early April, but life gets busy- assessments need to be done, CAA's need to be CAA'ed, the kid needs to go to the dentist, the laundry needs to be done, the dog "visited" the carpet..... y'all know how it goes.

Photo by Kevin Harber via Flickr

Whew--  now that we've reached an agreement with the MPLC (which does not have a ten year limit like the previous agreement) and we know how to hook up our Wii to the Internet, check with your Administrator about whether or not your facility is exempt and then fire up the popcorn! I do have to say that I think this agreement is another step in changing the public's perception of our facilities. They aren't "the old folks home" or the "rest home" were people only go to die. They are HOMES, with vibrant, exciting people living there who are still interested in living a full and fun life.

Finally- my most sincere apologies about being incorrect on the licensing issue. That will teach me to swallow what I want to hear, hook-line-and-sinker, without double checking it for myself, no matter who is saying so. It is a dead issue now, or rather a settled issue, if you follow the rules but I do apologize for giving you information that was not correct and up to date. I have eaten most of the humble pie.

Image via

No comments:

Post a Comment