The public display or performance of a copyrighted film on campus requires a public performance license from the copyright holder, typically the producer or distributor of the work. In many cases, a public performance license can be purchased via a designated licensing agent.
Not all showings of a film on campus require a public performance license. When is a public performance license needed and when is it not?
The public display of a copyrighted work is where the showing occurs in a place open to the public or a place where a substantial number of persons outside of the normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances are gathered. It can also refer to a situation where the work is being transmitted online or via cable broadcast (See Title 17 of the United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 101). Examples of such display include the following:
The library doesn’t always purchase public performance rights with DVDs or individual streaming titles but in some cases we have. To get a list of these videos, do an Advanced Search in the Library Catalog for the phrase “public performance” and limit by Material Type to Video/Film. A reference to public performance rights should be included in the notes field. If you are unsure if a titles includes public performance rights, ask a librarian.
Library video streaming subscriptions licenses:
WTOP (student-run television station housed on the campus of SUNY Oswego) offers Movies On Demand, a program that allows anyone in residence halls to access over 450 movies online for free. The service includes additional resources and program materials for some movies. Contact WTOP for details.
If the library doesn’t have the movie you want with a public performance license for the venue you are planning, try obtaining the license you need through one of the following copyright licensing agents.
Student organizations are subject to the same public performance requirements as the rest of campus. The Events Management staff of Campus Life are available to help with public performances. Please contact them at 135 Marano Campus Center or at 315-312-2301.