Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College
http://bristolcc.edu/

Videos and Copyright - Public Performance Rights for Library Materials

Showing a film to a group may require obtaining public performance rights. It is up to you to determine what you need to do to comply with copyright law.

Do I Need To Obtain Performance Rights?
 

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 Do I Obtain Performance Rights?
Some library films are purchased with performance rights. Find out if the library has performance rights to the film you want to show by contacting a librarian.

If we don't have performance rights, you must contact the copyright holder to obtain them. Individuals and organizations are responsible for obtaining performance rights for library-owned films.

Tips on Finding Copyright Holders:

1. Determine who the copyright holder is.

2. Google the copyright holder, or use a directory like Switchboard, to find current contact information.

3. Document your contacts and keep records of all related correspondence.

Copyright Licensing Agents
Broadcast Music, Inc
represents over 350,000 creators of music, the songwriters, composers and publishers of more than 6.5 million musical works

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
licenses the right to perform songs and musical works created and owned by the songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers who are ASCAP members and also those members of foreign performing rights organizations who are represented by ASCAP in the United States.

Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.,
founded in 1937, is the major non-theatrical movie distributor and public performance licensing agent in venues where feature movies are shown publicly.

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation
is an independent copyright licensing agency that provides the Umbrella License to ensure copyright compliance for the public performance of motion pictures.

Still have questions? Ask A Librarian.

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* Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code, provides an exemption for certain educational uses of videorecordings. Specifically, it 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." For further information see Janis H. Bruwelheide, The copyright primer for librarians and educators (Chicago: American Library Association; Washington, DC: National Education Association, 1995), 50-63.