Q1: Who is the MPLC?
A: We are the world’s largest provider of non-theatrical licensing services for film and television producers, presently representing more than 1,000 of them from around the world, including the major Hollywood studios.
Q2: We’ve never heard of you before. Is it a new organization?
A: The MPLC launched operations in the United States in 1986 and now has offices and staff in more than 30 major markets around the world, including Hong Kong. We began here in 2018 and are a registered Copyright Licensing Body operating under the supervision and approval of the Intellectual Property Department. In fact we are the only registered Copyright Licensing Body in Hong Kong acting on behalf of film and television producers.
Q3: Are you a government department?
A: We’re not part of the government, but we operate under their authority and supervision. We follow all the transparency and fairness requirements imposed by the Copyright Ordinance and the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) as a condition for maintaining our registration as a Copyright Licensing Body. Please contact the Intellectual Property Department directly if you have any further questions regarding our bona fides.
Q4: What do you do, exactly?
A: We operate licensing schemes on behalf of our clients allowing their films and television programmes to be legally viewed outside of peoples’ homes, such as in a church, or a school, or on a bus, or in an office, or a retail shop, etc.
Q5: What does that mean?
A: Copyright laws around the world give certain protections to copyright owners in the form of exclusive rights, including the right to perform their works publicly. Films and television programmes sold or rented to consumers on DVDs, or via pay-TV, or streaming or download sites are usually restricted to private, home use. So in Hong Kong and elsewhere this means that if you want to watch a film or a TV programme anywhere other than your home you need a license that allows you to do it. We grant those licenses on behalf of our producer clients.
Q6: Why did you contact us? Were we singled out for special attention?
A: We wanted to explain (to each of them) the cost-effectiveness and beneficial advantage of an MPLC Umbrella License® by providing each of them a significant limited time discount offer against our published fees as an incentive for their consideration. The purpose of our scheme, and for contacting you, is to facilitate and enable (rather than complicate or forbid) your use and enjoyment of our represented works.
Q7: But we’re a private clinic. Why do we need a license at all? Don’t we get any special protection under the law?
A: Dental clinics, doctors’ offices, hospitals and health care centres are all considered public places for the purpose of the Copyright Ordinance, so any performances of copyrighted works (such as music, or movies) taking place there would be considered public performances requiring the consent of the copyright owner(s) in each instance. There are no general liability exemptions extending to doctors or dentists or the health care industry.
Q8: Why should we pay attention to you?
A: To learn more about the incredible ease, benefit, and value of MPLC’s Umbrella License®. Our broad representation provides huge economies of scale, making an MPLC Umbrella License a cheaper and administratively easier alternative to onerous title-by-title licensing throughout a year. Also because you respect creativity and would probably prefer to watch movies legally instead of breaking the law, and as a professionally licensed health care provider you want to set the right example for your patients by recognizing, respecting, and protecting intellectual property rights. But another big reason is that we have authorization from our clients to waive our customers' liability for any previous unlicensed public performances that may have taken place before we commenced our local operations.
Q9: So what’s an MPLC Umbrella License® anyway?
A: It’s one of two types of licensed permissions we offer allowing our producer clients’ works to be performed publicly. The MPLC Umbrella License®, which is likely the most cost-beneficial option for most dental practitioners, allows the unlimited use, at any time, of any of our represented producers’ hundreds of thousands of film and television titles without the need for any further record keeping or usage reporting back to us. The only restrictions are that screenings may not be advertised to the general public, or subject to a separate admission charge.
Q10: What are MPLC’s fees for dental clinics, and how were they determined?
A: MPLC’s Umbrella License® fees for dental care providers in Hong Kong were determined locally in accordance with affordability and existing market conditions. Our tiered pricing scheme was approved by the IPD and remains available online as a condition of our operations. Dentists’ offices fees for 2020 are based on a relatively low per venue basis.
Q11: Do you provide the content as well?
A: No. Consistent with other copyright licensing schemes in Hong Kong, MPLC provides licensed permission allowing the use of any legally sourced content – whether from a DVD, or a pay-TV operator, or a licensed streaming or download site – containing our clients’ works.
Q12: Where can I find a list of all of your represented titles?
A: MPLC’s Umbrella License® permits the unlimited use of any works produced and/or distributed by our clients. Such a comprehensive list of all of their titles, if one existed, would number in the hundreds of thousands of titles and require constant updating as new works are created or acquired and as MPLC takes on new clients. Our website instead contains a listing of our more than 1,000 represented film and television producers and many of those listings contain links to their individual websites. Licensees may also wish to make use of secondary source reference resources commonly available to consumers providing cross-reference information between producers and their associated works, such as IMDB.com
Q13: What if I don’t need an MPLC license?
A: First do your due diligence to determine with certainty that no performances have taken anywhere in the clinic within the past six years, because without an MPLC Umbrella License® you remain legally liable for any past unauthorized activity involving our represented titles. For example, do you advertise on your website or in any secondary source articles that you provide movies or cartoons for your patients? Do you have viewing screens or playback equipment already installed within your premises? The benefits of prescriptive compliance outweigh the risk and public stigma associated with copyright infringement.
Q14: I’ve done all of that and we still don’t need a license. Now what?
A: That’s fine; we just ask that you tell us so that we can update our records and stop contacting you. We’ll confirm your decision back to you and inform our clients and/or the relevant government authorities if they ever ask. You’ll remain legally responsible for any unlicensed performances that may still be within the statute of limitations, and/or for clearing any necessary permissions for any future performances.
Q15: I still have some questions. How can I contact MPLC and/or apply for a license?
A: More specific information can be obtained in the URL links listed below. Or call us at +852 3596 5857 and ask us any questions you might have, our licensing team members will return our Quotation and Application Form to you. You can confirm the license by chop & sign, then return to us by email. Pay our invoice upon receiving our license and that’s it.