Bob Iger apologized to a parent teachers’ association for a Berkeley elementary school after Disney charged the school a $250 licensing fee for screening the movie “The Lion King” at a fundraising event.
“Our company @WaltDisneyCo apologizes to the Emerson Elementary School PTA and I will personally donate to their fund raising initiative,” Iger said in a tweet Thursday.
CNN reported on Tuesday that Emerson Elementary School’s PTA hosted a “parent’s night out” fundraiser at the school and screened a DVD of the 2019 remake of “The Lion King” at the event.
Two months later, the PTA received an email from Movie Licensing USA saying that the company had “received an alert” that “The Lion King” was screened and the PTA would be charged a $250 fine for illegally screening the movie. Movie Licensing USA manages licensing for Disney and other major studios.
“One of the dads bought the movie at Best Buy,” PTA president David Rose told CNN. “He owned it. We literally had no idea we were breaking any rules.”
The email sent to the PTA informed them that playing the film qualified as a Public Performance and required them to obtain a license to show the film, even in a classroom setting.
“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,” according to the email obtained by CNN.
Our company @WaltDisneyCo apologizes to the Emerson Elementary School PTA and I will personally donate to their fund raising initiative.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) February 6, 2020