May 18, 2022

Motion Picture Licensing Corp. Begins Offering Umbrella License For Public Libraries

Word that the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation has started to offer an “umbrella license” (annual license for unlimited viewings) for movies/videos shown in a public library setting.

The Nevada State Library and the Suffolk Cooperative Library System in New York are charter users of the license that’s priced per location, per year.

From MPLC:

The License gives libraries the performance rights to show movies, popular children’s programs, educational documentaries, and other audiovisual content for entertainment and educational purposes. Studios and producers covered by the License are 20th Century Fox, as well as 390 children’s, specialty and documentary producers including Scholastic Entertainment, Hit Entertainment, Discovery Channel, A&E, The History Channel, Sony Pictures Classics, and other producers that are not represented by any other licensing company.

Once licensed, movies can be obtained from any legitimate source. For example, movies can be rented, streamed or downloaded and shown without any further reporting.

MPLC’s License is facility-based, providing libraries with copyright coverage whether a librarian, library patrons or guests are showing or watching videos. A library is covered whether a local independent film club watches a movie during their monthly meeting, or if a patron borrows a DVD and watches it on one of the on-site computers at the library.

The MPLC web site includes pricing info. Here’s a list (PDF) of the producers, MPLC’s license covers.

Movie Licensing USA is another providing of licensing services for public and school libraries. Here are lists of the producers they’re working with.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.