Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film or video. The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the US Code) requires PPR for public viewing of copyrighted media outside of the regular curriculum. A PPR license needs to be obtained before you are able to begin promoting your event.
If you do not obtain rights for your screening that is outside of the curriculum, you may be illegally screening the film. If a film is under copyright and you want to screen it, you must get the copyright owner’s approval.
This does not matter. If the film is copyrighted and you are showing it not as course-related, you must secure public performance rights.
There are several options:
PPR is already available
Docuseek, Alexander Street Press, and Films on Demand offer PPR on most of their films but check with the Library on specific titles
Seek approval from the copyright owner (usually the director/producer of the film)
Fees vary. If the Library has secured PPR for an educational film, there will be no additional cost to the group initiating the screening.
A PPR license is needed per film, per event and the fees will vary depending on the movie selection and the number of attendees.
A one-day PPR license for most movies for a projected attendance of 50 can range from $450 to $650.
Timeline for obtaining PPR license
Distributors usually require a minimum of two weeks notice prior to the screening.
If you would like the Library to search for a distributor, an advance notice of at least four weeks prior to the screening is appreciated. Notice of a change or cancellation must be given at least 10 business days before the event.
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation