Media Copyright Guide
To “perform” a work means to recite, render, play, dance, or act it, either directly or by means of any device or process or, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show its images in any sequence or to make the sounds accompanying it audible.
“Motion pictures” are audiovisual works consisting of a series of related images which, when shown in succession, impart an impression of motion, together with accompanying sounds, if any.
Title 17, USC, Copyrights, Section 101, Definitions
Usage Rights of Public Performance or Home Video License
Videos can be purchased with either a Public Performance or a Home Video license. Each license has different viewing restrictions as detailed below.
A Public Performance License permits the screening of a motion picture for face-to-face teaching. This license also permits the display or screening of a copyrighted film “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.”
If a film in the media collection has a Public Performance License, the following uses are permitted:
- Screening the film in full to a classroom for face-to-face instruction (Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays, section 110)
- Screening the film to a public gathering where no entrance fee is charged (section 110)
- Taking still images from the film
- Faculty whose primary academic area is in film studies or communication may digitize short clips of a film for face-to-face instruction in a classroom setting (Digital Millennium Act, section 1201)
and the following uses are forbidden:
- Students may not digitize any portion of a film (section 1201)
- Transmit any portion of a film via the internet over a secured or unsecured network (e.g. DVDs may not be digitized and streamed for distance education, nor may they be digitized and provided with streaming access through secure networks such as Blackboard) (section 1201)
- Charge admission fees to a screening of a film or any portion of a film in a public space (section 110)
- Display the film in distance education. (section 1201)
A Home Video License (or Home Use) permits a copyrighted film to be screened in full within a family group and an associated circle of friends within reason.
If a film in the media collection has a Home Video License, the following uses are permitted:
- Screen the film in a family circle or small group of friends (Exclusive rights in copyrighted works, section 106)
- In accordance with exemptions to the Home Video licensing, teachers whose primary academic area is film studies or communication may screen an entire film or portions of a film in a classroom setting for face-to-face instruction (section 110)
and the following uses are forbidden:
- Screening a film to a group outside the family circle or outside face-to-face instruction (section 110)
- Screening a film and charge admission (section 106)
- Digitizing any portion of a film (section 1201)
- Transmitting any portion of a film via the internet over a secured or unsecured network (e.g. DVDs may not be digitized and streamed for distance education, nor may they be digitized and provided with streaming access through secure networks such as Blackboard) (section 1201)
To determine whether a particular DVD has a Public Performance or Home Video License, please contact Music & Media Librarian Lisa Hooper.
Relevant sections of the United States Copyright Law:
- Section 101, Definitions
- Section 106, Exclusive rights in copyrighted works
- Section 110, Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays
- Section 1201, Digital Millennium Act
ALA Office of Information Technology Policy – Exceptions for Instructors U.S. Copyright Law [evaluator]
Columbia Copyright Advisory Office http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/
United States Copyright Office
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Haverford College Audio Visual Services http://www.haverford.edu/av/copyright/pubperform.html
Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works.
Motion Picture Association of America