Did you know that movies are often shown publicly without proper licenses? You’re not one of them, are you?


The copyright related to the public screening of films is an essential aspect of the film industry, protecting the rights holders of the films and ensuring them the recognition and financial compensation they deserve. Copyright infringements can lead to both criminal and civil penalties.

The copyright holder of a creative work has the exclusive right to determine the use of their work and related compensation. Public screenings of films that end up for sale or rent are generally defined as requiring a license. Public screening of a film is, by default, considered to be any form of presentation that is not within the immediate family and friends circle. Events that meet the definition of public screening are those that are open to the public, and the individual participants are not specifically known.

Events that are for a relatively large closed group or where the screening of the film is linked to profit-making are also considered public screenings. There are no exceptions for public screenings of films. Both complete film screenings and the display of short film clips are considered public screenings.

Elokuvalisenssi represents both international and Finnish film distribution and production companies in Finland and offers a variety of licensing solutions tailored to the needs of customers.

The following examples are considered as public screening:

• Films and clips shown during school lessons.
• Films shown in youth centers or libraries.
• Film screenings organized by the city or municipality for residents.
• Films shown in leisure, afternoon, or similar clubs.
• Screenings organized by film clubs.
• Film screenings in shopping centers, restaurants, stores, or swimming pools.
• Outdoor and drive-in screenings.

For the above-mentioned examples, you will need a public screening license for the films. If you are planning to sell tickets for an event, licensing is possible under certain conditions. You can compare the different types of licenses we offer here. Please contact us before submitting a screening license application if you plan to sell tickets for your event.

Illustration: Jukka Lemmetty”

Info about the copyrights

It is essential to be aware of and respect copyright laws. Copyright infringements can lead to both criminal and civil penalties.

Copyright infringements can occur, for example, when works are used without proper authorization. Such infringements may include unauthorized reproduction, distribution of works to the public, or the importation of pirated goods. Other copyright infringements may involve violations of moral rights or circumventing technical protection measures.

Copyright crimes and copyright violations are categorized based on their severity. A criminal offense requires intent, a profit motive, and significant harm or damage. A violation, on the other hand, can occur intentionally or through gross negligence but without a profit motive or significant harm or damage.

Copyright infringements can result in various consequences, such as imprisonment or fines. Additionally, infringers may be liable for compensation and damages. Copyright holders have the right to seek forfeiture penalties, such as the destruction or surrender of illegal copies.

Let us remember to respect copyright and follow the laws to ensure a fair and just environment for all creative professionals

Source: TTVK / Tekijänoikeuden tiedotus- ja valvontakeskus ry – Tekijänoikeuden loukkaukset 


TTVK – Tekijänoikeuden tiedotus- ja valvontakeskus ry

Tekijänoikeus.fi – Oppilaitoksille ja kaikille suunnattua tietoa tekijänoikeudesta

Kopiosto – julkaisujen ja av-teosten vastuullisen käytön edustaja