Commercial played only in theaters before movie screenings - which license?

One of my buyers asked me which license should he choose for a commercial played in theaters before movie screenings. I’ve asked help center but they respond with a delay and my client is in hurry.

Only broadcast and film license allows use in a theatrically released film but commercial isn’t actually a film. So what? A standard license?

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This specific use is not addressed in the license terms. So, it’s open to legal interpretations.

In my opinion, it depends on the distribution.

If the commercial is a local commercial and will be screened in a single local theater, then it could be akin to playing the music at a live event, the theater being the venue. In this case, the Standard license should be fine.

On the other hand, if the commercial is meant to be released in many theaters and has a wider scope, then the Broadcast and Films would be appropriate.

This is just my opinion of course, but in the absence of clarification from Envato, this is all we can do… legally argue this point.


@PurpleFog The best professional who understands licenses (music licenses on Envato) (I repeatedly followed his answers and the responses of buyers, and with the fact that his answers always coincided with the answers of support of Envato (about the right choice of music licenses)), I would trust his opinion, but if you have any additional questions about licenses, then ask them to support Envato.
Good luck!

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Thanks for the nice words, @CleanMagicAudio. But, I sure hope that there are others who understands the licenses better than I do. Otherwise, we’re out of luck, because even for me it can be… a bit foggy :rofl:


I’ve just received the answer from staff. They say the only license allowing to theatrically screen media is broadcast & film. No matter if it’s film or commercial. Thanks @PurpleFog for you interest!

Very interesting… Well that’s yet another point they should clarify in the terms.

Also, I guess they didn’t take into account indie film and festivals, as those are covered with the Standard license.

Ok, so now I have to decide whether I’ll ask for a $1000 Broadcast and Film license from a local driving school whose ad is showing at a local theater. It seems excessive to me, so I don’t know. By the way, this is a market we cannot monitor, so I don’t how it is enforceable.

Anyway, thanks for getting to the bottom of this @RedOctopus!

…of course excluding indie films and festivals.

Yeah, it’s kind of strange that little ads can be charged as films.