Under copyright law, a copyright holder has the exclusive right to publicly display his/her work. Permission is required to publicly (in a non-classroom setting) show a work.
Face-to-Face Classroom Use
A film or video may be shown in the classroom when the instructor is present and the work is incorporated into instruction. A license or permission is not necessary as long as the copy of the work is lawfully obtained.
Workshops and Training
Public performance rights are required for open workshops or training where a film or video is screened. In some cases, clips may be used under the fair use provisions of copyright law.
In most cases, an open screening of a film or video requires a public performance license. Videos and DVDs rented or purchased from Blockbuster, Netflix, etc., are intended for "home use only." Performance rights are not included. Therefore, a public performance license must be obtained prior to a public showing. Under certain conditions, the use of short clips of a film or video may be permissible under the fair use provision of copyright law. The videos and DVDs purchased by Horrmann Library do not, generally, include public performance rights. However, there may be some documentaries that do. Please check with Cathy Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional information.
Students and faculty wishing to use copyright-protected songs, video clips, etc. to create content for videos, films, websites, and PowerPoint presentations should be guided by the provisions of Fair Use, especially if the content will be posted either online or via social media. The resulting work should be transformative, in that it takes original materials to make something new and different.
Some questions to consider when assessing the applicability of fair use:
For a more comprehensive explanation of best practice in the creation of media content, see the attached documents to the left. There are numerous websites available that offer open access music, videos, artwork, etc. A selected list is available under the Public Domain Resources tab of this Research Guide.