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Copyright: Showing movies

Basic copyright information for faculty, staff, and students of Texas State University.

Free Library Sources!

The Library has public performance rights for many of the materials in its collection. Check the online catalog and search for the phrase “public performance rights” to see a list of titles which include this license. 

Film and Video Licensing

What are public performance rights?

Showing a movie or performing a musical work in a public setting (e.g., a club or organization) usually requires purchasing a public performance license.  Just as you cannot rent a movie from the local video store and then screen it in a public space, you cannot show movies or perform musical works in a public setting without purchasing a public performance license, even if you're not charging admission.

An exception to this rule is when you are showing the film or playing the music in a face-to-face course.

See Stanford's Center for Copyright and Fair Use page.

When purchasing public performance rights, you will have to provide the distributor with :

1.   Your name and contact information;

2.   The location of the performance;

3.   The date and time of the performance;

4.   The estimated audience size.

The Society for Cinema & Media Studies has also put together unofficial fair use guidelines for their members that that may be useful to understanding various concepts and situations where copyright concerns may arise.

Featured Video: Copyright for Musicians

Entertainment lawyer, Greg Eveline, discusses copyright law and musicians:

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Legal Disclaimer

This guide is designed to share information on copyright and related topics. This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.