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Public Performance Film Rights Policy

Securing film rights is the responsibility of the person, group, club or organization screening the film.  The library usually does not purchase videos or music with PPR.  

  • Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code allows for "performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction." 
  • In most other cases, public performance rights (PPR) are needed to give you the right to legally screen videos or play music in a public setting, even for a non-paying audience.  Please note that videos are usually considered "home use" only unless they have been specifically purchased or licensed with PPR.
  • "Home use" can include a dorm room or other private space, but where showings are limited to a "normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances."  The only exception to this is the face-to-face teaching exemption noted above.
Do I need to obtain Public Performance Rights?
Yes No
if the screening or performance is open to the public, such as showing a foreign-language film to the community.  if privately viewing the film or listen to music in your room with friends.
If the screening or performance is in a public space such as a dorm lounge, library, auditorium, or other place where access is unrestricted.  if the film or music is performed for officially registered students in a classroom, where the material is course relevant. 
if the people attending are outside of the normal circle of family or acquaintances.  This includes performance for a club or organization, or showing a film in class that is open to individuals not registered with the course.  if the material is a part of a library database that does allow for group viewing.  Please check with a librarian if you are unsure if a database has these rights.  


How to obtain Public Performance Rights

Begin searching for PPR early. At the very least you need two weeks lead time.  Locate contact information - Name, phone number, email, or web address of the person or company involved who hold the copyright or performance rights.

Film Copyright Licensing Agents

Music Copyright Licensing Agents