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Research Guides

Public Performance Rights for Film: Home

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Classroom Video Screening Policy

If you are showing a film on campus you must first determine if your event falls under the rules of the Classroom Video Policyor if you need to obtain public performance rights. 

Questions?

If you have questions concerning streaming video or films found online please contact Carmen Greenlee.

Do I need to obtain permission to show a film on campus?

Public Performance Rights are usually held by the producer or distributor of a film. To show a film which does not fall under the rules for a classroom showing, you will need to obtain rights for which you usually need to pay a fee.  Normal fees range from $300-$800 per showing. 

 

This chart can help you determine whether or not to seek permission:

Yes...

No...

•    if the screening is open to the public, such as showing a foreign-language film to the community for cultural enrichment

•    if the screening is in a public space where access is not restricted, such as an instructor showing a film to a class for curriculum-related purposes in a public or unrestricted-access location

•    if persons attending are outside the normal circle of family and acquaintances, such as showing a film to a club or organization, or showing a film for class but inviting others to attend

•    if privately viewing the film in your room with friends

•    if an instructor is showing the film to officially registered students in a classroom, where content of film directly relates to course

How to Obtain Permission

 

Who is the Distributor of the Film/Episode I Want to Show?

•    Go to the Internet Movie Database.

•    Search for your film by title.

•    Look on the film's site listing for the company credits (on the left-hand side of the screen).

•    There, you will find the distributor(s) listed. Once you have the original distributor ("original rights owner"), click here to determine the current distributor of the film from this list. 

 

Films in the Public Domain

There are some films that are not owned and, therefore, are not subject to copyright laws. You can screen these without purchasing PPR. Click here  to see a list of films commonly known to be in the public domain.

More about Public Domain Films from the Library of Congress, the Digital Public Library of America and the Internet Archive.

Subject Guide

Carmen Greenlee
Contact:
111B H-L Library and Media Commons
207.725.3286