"PLAYSCHOOLS have been given an unexpected lesson on copyright law after a company representing Hollywood studios demanded that each child pay a fee of €3 plus 17.5% Vat per year to watch DVDs in their playgroup.
The Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC), which collects royalties on behalf of companies such as Walt Disney, Universal and 20th Century Fox, wrote to 2,500 playschools last month warning that it is illegal to show copyrighted DVDs in public without the correct license.
The letter was sent with the approval of the Irish Preschool Play Association (IPPA), which represents the schools and their 50,000 children...
...the MPLC had failed to register with the Irish Patent Office as a copyright licensing body. Under the 2000 Copyright Act, royalty collectors such as the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI) are required to register before they can collect fees.
A spokesman for the Patent Office said that if an organisation collects money but hasn’t registered it may be fined or staff may be jailed if a complaint is made and it is found guilty."