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Copyright: Public Viewing of Film

Self-help tools designed to assist in understanding complex copyright issues, in particular, fair use.

"Anytime a group shows a movie in any context, the group must purchase the public viewing rights (copyright) for that particular showing.  Copyright purchase for film currently runs between $300‐$600 per showing for popular titles from major movie distributors.  Independent films could cost less but must be negotiated with the holder of the copyright for those films.  Swank Motion Pictures is a film distributing company that works with college environments and handles most commercial grade film titles.   

There is an exception to the public performance fees for college and universities.  That exception is only in the case of face‐to‐face classroom instruction by a faculty member.  The faculty member may show the film/movie outside the normal class period (i.e: at night), however, it is only for those students who are registered for the class. The movie must also be shown in spaces that are designated for instruction; therefore library screening rooms, residence hall or student union lounges, cafeterias do not qualify.  A faculty member cannot show it for his/her class and then open it up to the rest of the campus.  In order to invite others, the public viewing rights must be purchased.  Acceptable attendance for films in which the copyright is not purchased only include students registered for the class, the instructor and guest lecturer(s). "   Read more....