Everyone knows how protective Disney can be about their IP, and it looks like Emerson Elementary School found out firsthand what it could be like to be facing the legal end of Disney.
According to CNN, Disney has demanded that the school pay a licensing fee after they screened The Lion King for a "parents night out" fundraising event back in November. If anything, Disney is only demanding that they pay $250—a huge chunk off of the $800 that the school apparently made with the screening.
The e-mail from Movie Licensing USA (who ratted on the school to Disney) read:
"Any time a movie is shown outside of the home, legal permission is needed to show it, as it is considered a Public Performance… Any time movies are shown without the proper license, copyright law is violated and the entity showing the movie can be fined by the studios. 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."
PTA president David Rose also told CNN, "One of the dads bought the movie at Best Buy… He owned it. We literally had no idea we were breaking any rules."
Even the local government has somehow got wind of Disney demanding the fee. Berkley City Council member Lori Droste told CNN, "It's just so appalling that an incredibly wealthy corporation ... is having its licensing agents chase after a PTA having to raise insane amounts of money just to pay teachers, cover financial scholarships and manage school programs… We would be enthusiastic about paying the license fee if Disney was willing to have their properties reassessed and pay some additional property taxes."
Though the school may have had to pay the license fee to Disney, the event has apparently led some people to donate money to the school to help raise funds. Hopefully, everyone is will now think twice before they decide to have public screenings of Disney films in the future.