How do I go about getting the rights to put movies on my website?

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2010

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How do I go about getting the rights to put movies on my website?

I want to start a business on-line where you pay to watch movies that are out in the movie theater at a cheaper price. How can I get the rights to start?

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Business Law, Connecticut


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

In order to obtain the rights to show a movie you have to purchase them, somewhat how movie theaters purchase the right to show the movie.  It is not a cheap endeavor and honestly, it may be a difficult one for what you are doing.  The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation is the entity that licenses movies. I would think that if it were lucrative then it would have been done already.  But movie theaters pay big bucks for these movies and I am sure that they want some guarantee of exclusivity to make the money back from fans.  If a person purchased it on-line for say $5 (much less than one theater ticket) but 8 people watched it then all that revenue would be lost to the theater.  Who would go?  No one, I would think. You can try and it is a great idea I just think that it would be either impossible to pull off contractually or cost prohibitive.     

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