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Library & Information Technology

Faculty & Staff Services

Public Performance Rights

Copyrighted films are not automatically licensed for public performance (showing a film to a group of people in a public space). 

  • Obtaining PPR means that the film's copyright holder receives compensation beyond the purchase price the library paid for the film.
  • The CCAD Packard Library is NOT responsible for obtaining PPR or paying for any performance fees for library-owned films.
  • That is the responsibility of the academic department or campus organization sponsoring the event.
  • However, librarians are available to assist individuals and groups in identifying the rights holder.

PPR checklist

Copyright law (USC 17§101) states a performance is public if it is in a public space or if it is in any place if "a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its acquaintances" is gathered there.

CCAD classrooms, meeting rooms, auditoriums and dorm lounges are considered public spaces.

The Teaching Exception:

Copyright law (USC 17§110) makes exceptions to public performances that take place in face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution; therefore, faculty and students can freely view a film that takes place in a CCAD classroom and is used for instructional purposes in the class and is only open to students enrolled in that class.

How to Obtain PPR

1. Determine who the copyright holder is.

  • Search the library catalog for publisher and distributor information.
  • Search WorldCat for newer formats of film. Copyright holder will likely be included.
  • Check the IMBd database for "Company Credits"
  • Search U.S. Copyright Office database of registered copyright holders.

2. Google the name of 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.
4. Additionally, there are Copyright Licensing Agents that make available PPR:

  • Swank Motion Pictures
  • Criterion Pictures