To show a movie to a group, you need to purchase a public performance license. Unless you purchase a license to show the film, you would be showing the movie illegally by breaking copyright and public performance rights laws.
Public performance licensing of movies isn't as clear as we would like it to be. There are currently no industry standards for how and where to license every movie, making it a challenge for people who are trying to do the right thing and support Christian film.
Film licenses are determined by the producer/distributor. Sometimes they offer licenses through CVLI. (See the CVLI Producer list here: http://cvli.com/producers/family-values-package/ )
Sometimes the producer will license it directly themselves through their own website. Sometimes they allow websites like ours to sell the license on their behalf. We are working on adding more like this every day to make it easier for our customers as this is a common request.
Other outlets that license films for churches: http://outreachfilms.com, http://lifeway.com/films, http://www.providentfilms.org/movieevents
We offer the private home viewing for all of our films, but not always the license.
When in doubt, however, you need to find out on a movie by movie basis from the producer/distributor how they decided to offer public performance licenses.
More about CVLI for Church Movie Event Licensing
Many people ask us about showing video programs to church and school groups. The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC), the group who has offered umbrella licenses to show Hollywood productions in public groups, has now teamed up with Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) to create Christian Video Licensing International (CVLI). For one small annual licensing fee, you can obtain a license to show many ChristianCinema.com releases plus most other Christian and Hollywood titles.
CVLI provides legal coverage for churches to show motion pictures for a variety of church activities, whether the movie was purchased, rented or borrowed. These may include church services and programs, education sessions and youth activities.
This license does NOT cover materials that have been copied from another source or recorded from television. It also does NOT cover charging an admission fee for video showings.
Here is how it works: You still purchase your videos at ChristianCinema.com, and receive the coverage from CVLI.
For more information on obtaining a church video license, you can contact CVLI directly at 1-888-771-2854 or visit their website for a list of producers and films that your license covers. You can also view the list of films that are available to buy or rent from ChristianCinema.com that are licensed through CVLI below.
Copyright laws were formed to protect the artists who make these wonderful products. Your support allows for their continued work towards bringing you more Christian movies. "The Gospel is free, but delivering it often requires finances."
If your church or organization has a regular movie night, a CVLI license is a great option to consider.