Public Performance Rights

Finding clarity with respect to copyright law in educational settings is a common problem with no easy answer. Where possible UW Oshkosh Libraries attempt to purchase public performance rights when a film is initially acquired by the library. However, some films are sold without the option of purchasing public performance rights while others are sold with their own specific rights. While this page can provide some broad guidelines to help determine whether a particular situation is in compliance with copyright law and falls under fair use, fill out the form below to inquire about the rights for a specific film.


The American Library Association and Association of Research Libraries prepared a brief paper (available here) on showing films in the classroom. Current copyright law permits “the performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.” This protection applies to both showing specific clips as well as the whole film. It does not extend to ticketed events, even if those events occur at an educational institution or in a classroom.

If you would like to request the library purchase a film, click here.  


Do you have a question about a films public performance rights?