School plays 'The Lion King' at fundraiser - now has to pay a third of what they raised
A school that played The Lion King at a fundraiser now has to pay a third of what they raised after violating its copyright.
The incident took place at Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley, California, which had screened the 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King at a parents' fundraiser in November of last year.
Two months after the showing, they received an email saying that they owed $250 for illegally screening the movie.
If you haven't seen it yet, this is the official trailer for The Lion King:
"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 school subsequently received an email from Movie Licensing USA, telling them that they had "received an alert" that the movie had been screened at the school on November 15. It's not known who reported the school for showing the movie, but the PTA has now reluctantly agreed to pay the fine.
Per CNN, Movie Licensing USA handles the licensing for a number of major studios, including Disney.
Because the movie was shown without a license, the school is now being asked to pay $250 for the performance and an additional $250 per performance if they decide to show it again.
"Any time a movie is shown outside of the home, legal permission is needed to show it, as it is considered a Public Performance," the email obtained by CNN read.
"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."
A number of people have since reached out to the school with donations.