This question is becoming much more common these days as motion picture companies, television studios and others are sending threatening letters to business owners. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in– if you operate a medical office, restaurant, retail establishment or car dealership, you can be held liable for showing television content that you don’t have adequate permission to display.
And it doesn’t matter how you are playing this content, whether it’s on a DVD, or through a popular streaming provider like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ or YouTube. Showing that content inside a business is likely against copyright terms, and could put you in legal jeopardy. Hulu’s Terms & Conditions for instance clearly state that their service is NOT for commercial use. Therefore, you cannot use it in a public or business setting- even in a waiting room.
Did you receive a threatening letter from a licensing company?
While there may be many valid points in a letter you’ve received in the mail from a content licensing organization, you should read it carefully, and realize that there is not one licensing body for all content. In a lot of cases these letters are designed to scare you into using a service that they are selling. Many of these services will offer a solution that shows a limited library of uninteresting content, looped on your TV day in and day out. You don’t need to trade away interesting television for “safe” TV when there are options out there that are both safe and interesting.
Just know, you are not obligated to use any specific licensing service in your business or waiting room. You just need to be sure that whatever service you are using has secured commercial playback rights for the content you are showing.
There are TV Providers that Include Business Display Licensing as Part of the Service
While Hulu, Netflix, Sling, Pluto and other streamers do NOT provide commercial licensing at the time of this article, there are other providers who do. And that’s what you want to utilize in order to keep your in the copyright-clear. It’s Relevant TV is one service provider that was built with integrated commercial licensing from day one. It’s cost-effective, easy-to-use, and features a growing library of over half-a-million videos. In addition to being the best streaming option for businesses, it’s also the best cable replacement on the market.