If you plan to show a film at an event, you may need to obtain public performance rights (PPR), which is a license that allows a film to be shown publicly. Almost all films are protected by copyright, and PPR need to be obtained when films are shown "at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered." (§ 101 of the Copyright Act). There are some exceptions when PPR are not required:
PPR are required to show copyrighted works in situations other than those listed above, including:
If, however, you are showing limited portions of a film or television show, even if it is in a public setting, then fair use might apply. Read more about fair use here.
The DVDs in the library do not have PPR with the exception of some documentaries and educational films from the online streaming collections:
If you have questions about our licenses with streaming providers, please send an email to email@example.com.
Individuals and organizations are responsible for obtaining performance rights for all publicly screened media. It can be as expensive as $350/title for one screening, please budget your event accordingly. Some companies to contact to secure PPR:
For other films, you may need to contact the producer or distributor directly. Finding the rights holders and securing PPR for foreign films, independent films, and older films may be difficult or impossible.