Amicus Briefs


MPAA Position: Filing in favor of Times Film Corp, the MPAA argued that the government may not require theater owners to undergo a burdensome process before airing films: “Motion pictures, too, have gained their rightful place with other media of communication and are now entitled to the protection and guarantees of the First Amendment … There is no valid reason why any distinction should be made with respect to motion pictures.” Read More


MPAA Position: The MPAA argued, in support of Simon & Schuster, that New York’s “Son-of-Sam” laws – which restricted criminals from profiting from their crimes by retelling their stories in the media – denied filmmakers and other creators the ability to recruit “crucial sources, who will require compensation, and thereby reduce[s] the flow of ideas and information to the public … Such a constraint directly burdens film-makers’ First Amendment rights and discourages them from making certain types of films, all of which will ultimately ‘reduc[e] the quantity of expression.’” Read More


MPAA Position: In a brief supporting the filmmakers behind the 2008 Oscar-winning war film The Hurt Locker, the MPAA asserted that creators’ right to draw inspiration from real people is constitutionally protected: “The First Amendment’s broad protection for free speech and press simply does not permit this kind of monopolization of expression relating to real people or events….It is well established that unauthorized biographies, documentaries, or other expressive works based on real people and events enjoy full First Amendment protection.” Read More


MPAA Position: The MPAA, filing in favor of the Baltimore Ravens, argued that copyright laws must strike a balance between protecting copyright holders and affording artists the freedom to express themselves without restraint: “Filmmakers cannot accurately and effectively depict the real world or create historical narratives without relying on copyrighted material.” Read More


MPAA Position: In one of the most recent in a string of similar cases, the MPAA filed in favor of Electronic Arts, Inc., urged the court to “promote continued creativity, as well as the free and open exchange of ideas,” by affirming broad protection for “the expressive use of the names, lives and likenesses of public persons” in creative works. Read More

Other Amicus Briefs

Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)

ACE is a global coalition of leading content creators and entertainment services committed to supporting the legal marketplace for video content and addressing the challenge of online piracy. Learn more at

Content Protection Best Practices

For more than three decades, the MPAA has managed security assessments at entertainment vendor facilities on behalf of its member studios. Using a set of Content Security Best Practices that outline standard controls to help secure content, we are continually working to strengthen security processes across production, post-production, marketing, and distribution.

Best Practices are designed to provide current and future third-party vendors with an understanding of general content security expectations, as well as a framework for assessing a facility’s ability to protect a client’s content.

Decisions regarding the use of vendors are made by each member studio solely on a unilateral basis.

The Best Practices outlined below are subject to local, state, regional, federal, and country laws or regulations. The industry standards or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) references contained herein, are subject to change periodically.

Compliance with best practices is strictly voluntary. This is not an accreditation program.

Common Guidelines Language Application and Cloud Guidelines
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Trusted Partner Network

In 2018, the MPAA joined forces with the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) to form the Trusted Partner Network (TPN)—an industry-wide film and television content security initiative designed to help prevent leaks, breaches, and hacks in the production pipeline prior to a film or TV show’s intended release. The joint venture provides industry vendors with a voluntary cost-effective way to ensure that the security of their facilities, staffs, and workflows meets MPAA’s best practices and it accredits experienced auditors to conduct them globally. Through the TPN, the film and TV industry will elevate the security standards and responsiveness of the vendor community, while greatly expanding the number of facilities that are assessed annually.

If you have any questions, about content protection, please submit an email to

Public Performance Licenses

When you watch a movie or TV show obtained through a brick-and-mortar or online store, you don’t need any special license from the copyright owners. And that’s still true if you invite a few friends over to watch it with you. But if you’re planning to show the movie or TV show “at a place open to the public” or “at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered,” you first need to obtain what’s called a “public performance” license. Examples of places where you’d need to get a public performance license to show a movie or TV show are clubs, performing arts centers, businesses, hotels, museums, motor coaches, community centers, religious organizations, and other public places.

The concept of the copyright owner’s exclusive right to perform its works publicly, enshrined in §106(4) of the Copyright Act, is central to copyright. If creators and makers do not retain the ability to control how and when their works are publicly exhibited, then there is little incentive for them to continue creating top content.

Obtaining a Public Performance License

Securing public performance license is easy and usually requires no more than a phone call. Fees are determined by such factors as the number of times a particular movie is going to be shown, how large the audience will be, and so forth. The major firms that issue these licenses on behalf of movie studios include:

Criterion Pictures (800) 890-9494
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (800) 462-8855
Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. (800) 876-5577

In other specialized markets, such as hotels and motels, many studios choose to handle licensing arrangements directly.

U.S. Copyright Law


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