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last updated: 10/31/2013

Copyright & Licensing for Public Performance

IUB Libraries Copyright Home PageObtaining Permission


*Viewing Movies and Other Audio-Visual Works at the University:


Public Performances to Meet Educational Needs Copyright for Instruction
Classroom Performance
Copyright law specifically permits "face-to-face" instructional display and performance of a copyrighted work. A legitimate copy of a particular work may be displayed or performed in a classroom, or similar place devoted to instruction. This exception applies to any copyrighted work which may be displayed or performed, so long as the work is relevant to class instruction. Performance or display of a copyrighted work outside a classroom is not protected by this exception. (17 USC § 110(1).)

Copyright and Licensing for Public Performance
Indiana University holds no public performance rights for many of the feature films in the Herman B Wells Library located in Media & Reserve Services. Any public showing that is not part of face-to-face teaching will require a license. The films in the public domain, which includes all films dated December 31, 1922 or earlier and may include others in the collection, may be shown without permission. For the films still protected by copyright, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring department or organization to secure permission or pay a license fee for any public showing.

Public Performance Rights Providers:
Provided here is a select list of PPR providers. You should contact the company's sales representative for additional information about costs, and restrictions.

Criterion, USA

A non-theatrical distributor of feature films licensed for public performance in the United States.

Facets, Multi-media

Facets Multi-Media, located in Chicago, Illinois and founded in 1975, is a non-profit media arts organization which provides an extraordinary range of film and video programs.  Facets will provide PPR for films on the Facets label (as opposed to, say, films on the Criterion label.)  Facets distributes both feature and documentary films.

Kino, International

Kino has been distributing specialized (art-house and foreign-language titles) films since 1977. These films are for public exhibition in various formats from 35mm & 16mm film prints to VHS and DVD. Kino only distributes in the US and Canada. Ask about PPR for those films distributed by Kino.

Milestone Films

Some of the films that they have had the privilege of distributing are by such masters of cinema as Alfred Hitchcock, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, F.W. Murnau, Orson Welles, and Luis Bunuel. Others are the work of some of the best directors working today, including Takeshi Kitano, Jane Campion, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Alan Berliner, Philip Haas, and Charles Burnett.

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation

This is an independent copyright licensing agency that provides the Umbrella License to ensure copyright compliance for the public performance of motion pictures.

SWANK Motion Picture, Inc.

SWANK is the major non-theatrical movie distributor online CE/CME education distributor and public performance licensing agent in venues where feature movies are shown publicly.

Zeitgeist Films

Their collection of the best in independent and international cinema has been accumulated by working with the most talented and innovative  filmmakers in the U.S. and abroad.  Includes films such renowned directors as Atom Egoyan, Todd Haynes, Francois Ozon, Derek Jarman, Yvonne Raine Kiarostami, Deepa Mehta, Christopher Nolan, Jan Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay.

Sample model permission letters from other universities:  (information retrieved from the UC website)

These sample letters should be reviewed and modified to fit the specifics of your request. Your letter should provide complete and accurate information and include a self-addressed stamped envelope to expedite the permission process. For more information on what types of information to include in your permission letter, see UC Policy and Guidelines on the Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials for Teaching and Research, Appendix 2.  

last updated: 10/31/2013