Behind Cinema Management Regulations: The What and Why of Compliance

August 4, 2023
The DX Team
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Picture this: you're in the zone, tapping away on your computer for an important project.  Suddenly, a pop-up notification appears – a software update is available. You click the “Remind me later” button, so you don’t lose focus on your task at hand.

Days pass and your computer starts acting up, getting slow, freezing, not responding to commands. That’s when you realize that update was still waiting. 

This familiar occurrence is a constant reminder that keeping up with updates, much like compliance, is a crucial yet tedious aspect that can turn into a real hassle if left unattended.

Just like technology now has the built-in reinforcements to remind you about important updates, so too compliance is a mandatory aspect that your software providers need to take care of, from the start. 

The catch? If everything is functioning properly, you won’t know it. If, like the postponed update, new compliance regulations aren’t included in the software’s governance, then it can give you a real headache. 

That’s why we’re talking about compliance now. This article offers a glimpse into the broad compliance requirements at the intersection of tech and cinema, so you know what to expect from your cinema’s software vendors. 

Read on and discover:

  • The types of compliance cinema tech needs to take into account
  • How we’re developing our DX solution with a compliance-first mindset
  • The benefits of having a compliant tech stack for your cinema business

Let’s get started!

Navigating Compliance at the Tech-Cinema Nexus

When talking about compliance, we can think about complexity, laws, and a lot of abstract concepts. But here’s what it’s all about.

There are three types of compliance at the intersection of tech and cinema: regulatory, IT, and cinema compliance. Let’s go through each one briefly: 

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance means adhering to specific laws and rules set by the government or industry standards. It's about making sure companies do things legally, ethically, and responsibly. 

This helps keep customers, employees, and the environment safe. If a company doesn't follow these rules, it can face fines, penalties, and legal trouble, which can harm its reputation.

Examples of regulatory compliance laws include the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

Since our platform allows cinemas to sell movie tickets online, it's an absolute must for us to be compliant with the regulations of each country we operate in - especially those related to payment processing

IT Compliance

IT compliance means following the rules and guidelines set for using technology (computers and software) and data in a secure way. 

For DX, this means that our software must adhere to the rules and regulations for each country we operate in. This matters a lot to us because, as a cloud-based platform, we handle a large amount of customer data when selling movie tickets online and managing cinema operations digitally. 

For instance, in Norway, there are three important laws that tell cloud-based businesses where and how they must keep their data. These laws are the Public Archives Act, the Bookkeeping Act, and the Security Act. In turn, Sweden doesn’t have specific rules or regulations directly targeting cloud computing, yet we know that privacy and security are a must when developing a cinema management solution.

Cinema Industry Compliance 

Cinema industry compliance means following the laws and regulations that apply to running a cinema. 

It covers many things, like getting the right licenses, ensuring the cinema is safe, respecting copyright laws when showing movies, and ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities. It also involves protecting customer information and keeping it private. Aspects that probably sound very familiar at this point!

As a cloud-based cinema management software, cinema compliance is another critical point for us. It ensures that the data we handle is secure and makes cinema operators and customers trust us. 

Our Approach: Embracing Compliance for a Secure Tomorrow

We live by our “Great Today, Better Tomorrow” value. It's a simple notion that guides our actions: we focus on what we can do today to shape a brighter future. And considering compliance today is precisely one of those actions that can lead to a better tomorrow. 

By embracing compliance now, we are equipping ourselves with the necessary infrastructure to safeguard our customers' trust, data, and overall security. 

Yes, it has taken more time and resources than initially estimated, but we believe that shaping our solution’s foundation today will make it scalable for the long run. No shortcuts. No cutting corners. And that’s where something that might sound tedious actually becomes an opportunity to set our customers for success — not just having the right rules and regulations in place, but making it easier and more efficient to access data, build the correct reports, have a seamless integration with other secure, reliable vendors.

Here’s just one example from our experience with the Swedish market. To comply with Swedish requirements and tax regulations, we reviewed our platform infrastructure, drawing from our compliance experience in Norway and insights into Swedish laws. 

For instance, we examined how our current ordering logic fits the specific cash register electronic journal requirements in Sweden (SKVFS 2021:16) and Norway (SAF-T). 

Yet, our vision is bigger than that. Ultimately, we're building an adaptable infrastructure to meet compliance needs in different markets, with Denmark and Finland next on our radar.

Why Should Cinema Managers Care About Compliance

If there’s anything we’d like you to take away from reading this article, it’s this: as a cinema manager, you need to make sure you’re investing in a compliant cinema management solution. 

Of course, you can choose a solution that isn't 100% compliant, and it might not cause any immediate issues. However, over time, you run the risk of untangling more administrative work, delays, or worse, penalties.

By understanding the basics of compliance, it will be easier to have a reliable and trustworthy solution at your disposal. It’s an investment for the long term and an advantage over any potential security threats down the line. 

Compliant software will keep your customers' data secure 

With compliant software, you can keep your customers' information safe and private. Without compliance, you put your customers' data at risk, which can lead to mistrust from their side. Your customers expect their data to be handled responsibly, and compliant software ensures you meet their expectations.

Compliant software will keep you away from legal issues 

With compliant software, you'll easily avoid legal problems and costly penalties that could hurt your business and reputation. In turn, when you use compliant software, it shows that your cinema is responsible and reliable, improving your reputation with customers.

Compliant software will make cinema operations more efficient 

When you use compliant software that follows industry standards, business operations become smoother and more efficient because the software is designed to adhere to best practices and guidelines. 

What’s more, compliant software often undergoes rigorous testing and updates to ensure it performs optimally, minimizing technical issues and disruptions. 

Just like with our stream of updates on our computer’s operating system, we know that we’re using something that keeps up with the latest threats, security standards, and so on.

Should you choose a solution compliant in every country you operate in?

As a local cinema, the only regulations you must consider are those of your country. 

If you’re operating in Sweden, this means adhering to complex Swedish regulatory laws and data protection acts, such as the Book-keeping Act and the VAT Act.

If you’re operating in Denmark, this means complying with the Danish Data Protection Act to protect customer information and following the guidelines of the Danish progressive tax system.

If you’re operating in Finland, this means following the Finnish Data Protection Act to safeguard customer data and privacy when selling tickets or handling customer information and complying with the Finnish Tax Administration's requirements for financial reporting and tax obligations related to ticket sales and revenue. 

Yet, if you’re a cinema chain operating in multiple countries or if you plan on expanding to other countries in the future, your best bet is to choose a cinema management software that is already compliant in all the countries you operate in. 

As for us, the compliance journey continues. Just as we believe that our product is in continuous development, because technology moves fast, and we want to stay at the forefront — we’re taking the same approach with compliance.

Right now, we’re fine tuning our infrastructure in Sweden, which has the toughest compliance regulations of all Northern Europe, so we will have conquered the biggest mountain by starting there. After Sweden, Denmark and Finland are next. 

If you want to keep up to date with our product development plans or other useful information regarding cinema operations, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn.

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