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Copyright and Fair Use

Showing a Movie in the Classroom

film spooling out of a movie reel

Any legal copy of a movie (from the library, purchased, or rental) can be shown in face-to-face classroom instruction by a faculty member. The movie must be shown in a classroom space that is designated for instruction (not residence halls or the student center), and it must be limited to those students who are registered for the class.

Showing a Movie on Campus (not in the classroom)

Anytime a group shows a movie, the group must purchase the public performance rights for that particular movie. Public performance rights generally cost between $300-$800 per showing for popular titles from major movie distributors or for films you may have acquired on Amazon. Public performance rights for independent films could cost less. Public performance rights must be purchased even if you are not charging admission or are having an educational panel or discussion before or after the film. The size of the potential audience may influence the cost of the public performance rights.

You can contact the following vendors to get pricing for performance rights:

Plan ahead. If you are asking the library to order a film or thinking about acquiring it yourself, see about purchasing public performance rights at the same time. This is generally cheaper and the library can often obtain rights with a one-time fee for educational or documentary materials. (Note that feature films are generally not available this way.)

Film Sources from High Library

There are a number of films in the library's collection that already have performance rights. All of the films in both of our video streaming databases include rights, as do the DVDs in the catalog search linked below.