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Copyright & Intellectual Property: Video Recordings

Information about copyright & intellectual property

Public Performance Rights

Whether on VHS, CD-ROM, DVD, streaming, or other formats, video recordings are subject to copyright protection. The films in the library collection do not typically include Public Performance Rights (PPR). PPR are legal rights to publicly show a film. PPR is required for individuals or groups to obtain a public performance license to offer a screening of the film on campus.

  • There is no need to pay for the public performance license if a professor is showing a film to officially registered students in a face-to-face classroom and the content of the film is directly related to the course. This exemption is explained in the Copyright Law of the United States of America: § 110. Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays
  • Frequently, the distributors of educational or documentary films do not allow libraries to purchase their films without PPR. In those cases, the library pays a higher price to acquire the film with PPR. The inserted library note “Includes Public Performance Rights” in the note field of the catalog record is used to identify films purchased with PPR.
  • Obtaining PPR is necessary for all screenings of copyrighted films to audiences outside of the regular curriculum (e.g. extracurricular events, film series, and student club events). The rights usually belong to the producer or distributor. To obtain public performance rights, Swank Motion Pictures or Kino Lorber. may be contacted.