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Film, Video, & Streaming Media Collections: Film Screenings and Public Performance Rights (PPR)

Information Page

What are Public Performance Rights (PPR)?

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.

Why do I need to obtain rights for my film screening?

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.

What if my screening is limited to members of a student organization and not available to a wider audience?

This does not matter. If the film is copyrighted and you are showing it not as course-related, you must secure public performance rights.

How do I secure PPR?

There are several options:

PPR is already available

  • The UC San Diego Library has secured PPR for a limited number of educational films in their collection but check with the Library on specific titles.
  • Some Kanopy films have PPR -
  • Docuseek, Alexander Street Press, and Films on Demand offer PPR on most of their films but check with the Library on specific titles
  • A very limited number of Netflix documentaries are available for educational screenings.

Seek approval from the copyright owner (usually the director/producer of the film)

  • Purchase PPR from Approval from the copyright owner via a rental fee paid to an authorized distributor film rental company (see companies below)
  • Contact the Library to assist with obtaining PPR. Contact Laura Schwartz at for a consult.

How much does PPR cost?

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, please complete the PPR Research Assistance form.

  • Advance notice of at least five weeks prior to the screening is appreciated.
  • Notice of a change or cancellation must be given at least 10 business days before the event.