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?
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.
- Search United States Copyright Office database of registered copyright holders
- Search SAILS Online Catalog for publisher / distributor 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.
* 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.