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Feature Film Public Performance Rights FAQ
This FAQ covers common questions about our Feature Film Public Performance Rights licenses. For more general FAQs covering the use of audio-visual materials in schools, please see the vendors' websites: Criterion's FAQ on Public Performance and ACF's "Commonly asked questions about copyright" (choose FAQs in the left margin.)
The intended audience of this page is librarians and staff at participating institutions. Feel free to direct students and instructors to this page as well.
What are public performance rights?
Who supplies these PPR licenses?
What types of uses are covered at my university/college?
A student group on campus would like to do a "movie night" and show a film. Are they covered by this license?
My institution has opted into the Entertainment Rights licenses as well. What additional uses can be made?
Is studio _______ covered by these licenses?
Is HBO covered by the ACF license?
Is film _______ covered by these licenses?
Does the film have to be in the library's collection?
What formats does the license cover? E.g. VHS video, DVD, film …
An instructor teaching a distance ed course wants the students to watch a particular movie at home through the course management system (Blackboard, WebCT, D2L, etc.). The movie is covered by one of the two PPR licenses. Is the instructor allowed to do this?
- ^What are public performance rights?
Under the Canadian Copyright Act any viewing or exhibition of a film in a public place must have a Public Performance Rights license. The law was recently changed to exempt classroom use at not-for-profit educational institutions.
- ^Who supplies these PPR licenses?
The licenses are with the two leading Canadian PPR licensing agencies, Audio Cine Films (ACF) and Criterion Pictures. Each agency represents a number of studios, and their license is a "blanket license" covering all or almost all films produced by the studio. Between them the two agencies cover almost all of the major US and Canadian studios and production companies, and many independent producers and foreign films.
- ^ What types of uses are covered at my university/college?
At not-for-profit institutions, the showing of films in the classroom no longer requires obtaining a PPR licence. The basic Educational PPR licence is now only for for-profit institutions.
As of October 2011 we are also offering Entertainment Rights licenses from both ACF and Criterion. If your institution has opted into the Entertainment license, it gives your users broader use rights for covered films, including student clubs doing movie nights. See question #5 for details.
- ^ A student group on campus would like to do a "movie night" and show a film. Are they covered by the Education license?
No. The student group must purchase a separate Entertainment license to do their movie night, unless your institution has the appropriate blanket PPR Entertainment licence.
- ^ My institution has opted into the Entertainment Use Rights licenses. What additional uses can be made?
The Entertainment Use license allows broader use rights outside the ordinary classroom context:
- The films can be shown anywhere on campus. [ACF: Only indoor screenings are allowed.]
- The film can be shown by someone other than an instructor, e.g. a student club, a staff training event.
- The audience can include students and staff, with some members of the public present (however, see the limitation below).
Please note the following limitations on Entertainment Use:
- The event must be free to attend -- no cost or cover charge. Showing films at charity fund-raisers is allowed, but only when the cost is purely by donation
- The license covers only films that have been released for rental and home purchase; films still in theatrical release are not covered.
- The primary audience of the event must be members of the institution. Event advertising must be limited to media targeted at the university/college and its students and staff. In the case of print advertising, the advertisements may only appear in campus media (e.g. a student newspaper) and not in general community newspapers.
Coverage of Studios and Films
- ^ Is studio _______ covered by these licenses?
The license document for each agency includes an appendix listing the studios covered.
- ACF: http://www.eln.bc.ca/docs/view.php?id=674 - see Schedule A
- Criterion: http://www.eln.bc.ca/docs/view.php?id=533 - see Schedule A
You can also check the two agencies' websites (linked in question 2 above) for more up to date lists of studios. If you find a discrepancy, please contact the agency to clarify.
- ^ Is HBO covered by the ACF license?
Yes, our license with ACF includes HBO.
- ^ Is film _______ covered by these licenses?
Each licensing company's website has a search engine which allows you to search for individual films by name.
- ACF: Use the search box in the upper right corner of the website (http://www.acf-film.com/en/index.php)
- ^ Does the film have to be in the library's collection?
No. The PPR license covers any showing of films in the classroom as long as the video is legally obtained. It can come from the library's collection, the instructor's personal collection, or a video rental store. Copies that have been dubbed from broadcast or cable, or transferred from another copy, or illegally downloaded, are not covered.
- What formats does the license cover? E.g. VHS video, DVD, film …
The license covers video, DVD, and laserdisc. Film (16 and 35 mm) is not covered.
- ^ An instructor teaching a distance ed course wants the students to watch a particular movie at home through the course management system (Blackboard, WebCT, D2L, etc.). The movie is covered by one of the two PPR licenses. Is the instructor allowed to do this?
Since the students will be watching the film at home on their own time, in fact there's no PPR issue here -- no "public performance" is occurring. However, there's a separate problem. In order to load the movie onto the server and stream it to students, the instructor would require permission from the content owner. That "hosting and streaming" permission is NOT included in our PPR license.