Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film or video (media). Normally the media producer or distributor manages these rights and may include PPR in the purchase price. Occasionally, the rights-holder may assign PPR using a separate Public Performance License.
The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the US Code) requires PPR for public viewing of copyrighted media outside of the regular curriculum, regardless of whether there is an admission fee. Examples include:
• film festivals
• meetings, programs, and events on campus
• movie nights sponsored by student or other groups
PPR are not required for private, home viewing, nor for showing media as part of standard curricular and face-to-face teaching activities. Examples of these exceptions include:
• individual viewing
• home viewing with family and friends
• classroom viewing
• viewing in small groups, such as in a group study room
PPR DVDs in the Library
The library purchases some DVDs (primarily documentaries, not feature films) with public performance rights. Those copies can be shown outside the classroom in a public location on the Ohio University campus when no admission fee is charged. To determine whether the library has purchased PPR for a DVD, contact your subject librarian or lorraine wochna
The library licenses several streaming video databases, the content of which can be shown publicly to University main campus, and regionals, as long as admission is not charged. Most of the content is documentary. Some feature films are available, such as on Kanopy Streaming, Sony Pictures Classics and AVON: Alexander Street Press.
The Face to Face Teaching Exemption allows for full video works to be shown in the "traditional" credit-bearing, physical classroom.
While the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) does not allow for most individuals to circumvent copy-protection to make clips, there are special exemptions made for our instructors and students. Most librarians interpret the DMCA exemptions and Fair Use to allow for instructors to make clips amounting to about 10% of a particular work to facilitate including relevant portions of video works for "criticism or comment", while minimizing the disruption of physically cueing different DVDs, Blu-Rays and tapes during active class time.
The Teach Act allows for the use of films in distance education, but places great emphasis on restricting access only to the students enrolled in the class. Most librarians interpret the Teach Act to allow for using clips and video works when access is restricted to students in a particular class through a learning management system, such as bCourses.
For more detailed information, see the following relevant laws and interpretations by recognized organizations and institutions:
Copyright information, Ohio University
General Copyright Resources