Elementary school fined $250 for playing ‘The Lion King’ at fundraising event

  • Elementary school fined $250 for playing ‘The Lion King’ at fundraising event

Elementary school fined $250 for playing ‘The Lion King’ at fundraising event

A California elementary school was billed by Disney's licensing agent for showing the Lion King remake during a school fundraiser. According to Goellner, Movie Licensing USA was asked by Disney to contact the Emerson PTA to make "this showing and any future showings legal".

In its school calendar listing, the club said it was going to play the most-recent version of the Disney animated film, "The Lion King".

PTA president David Rose told KPIX that one of the dads in the group had bought the movie at Walmart and 'we just basically threw it on while the kids were playing in the auditorium'.

The company claims it is owed $250 by Emerson Elementary School, which it claims screened the hit film illegally.

US copyright law forbids anyone from showing a film outside their home without obtaining a Public Performance license - a fact the Emerson PTA said it was not aware of.

"As I was dropping the kids off at the school this morning the PTA was freaking out over a letter they received from Disney's licensing demanding money". "Disney wants $250 when we are struggling to pay our teachers and spending per pupil is laughable?"

Berkeley City Council member Lori Droste, who is also a parent at Emerson Elementary, blasted the fine on Twitter. The school raised roughly $800 from the "Parents Night Out" themed event, which was held on November 15.

Rose said he initially did not believe that the company was "real" and would charge them for a movie night. The PTA's fundraisers don't just support frivolous items. "What I thought about was just the irony of having a multi-billion dollar company essentially ask a school to pay up".

But how did the licensing company find out that the DVD had been played? He added that he and the PTA were "surprised" when they received the notice and had to "look up" if the company existed. At this point, no one at the school knows for sure.

"The fundamental message is this: it's absurd that PTAs throughout California have to raise money (a lot!) to pay for teachers and financial scholarships when this can be easily remedied through investment in our public schools", she tweeted on Monday.

The parents' night out fundraiser had a $15 per child admission fee - although no child would be turned away if parents couldn't pay that amount - which would benefit the PTA's programs.

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