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Copyright: Public Performance Rights

Wright State Policy

Wright State University

Copyright Policy

Ask the Author

An author may grant limited use of his or her copyrighted material.  Direct contact with an author may help you to resolve questions of use.

Copyright Assistance

For assistance with copyright questions, Wright State students, staff, and faculty should contact:

Wright State University Office of General Counsel

Creator's Guide

This guide includes information for obtaining performance rights and permissions.

What are Public Performance Rights and why do I need them?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) grant the legal right to show a film or other media publicly. Without obtaining PPR, showing a film in a public setting violates the owner's copyright. Obtaining the rights for a public performance prevents possible legal action. 

When is a performance considered "public?"

A public performance is one that is "open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered." (17 USC 106)

This includes any screening outside of the regular curriculum in the classroom, such as showing films for extracurricular events, or sponsored events by a center, club, or organizations.

Are there instances that do not require obtaining public performance rights?

Viewing a film at home or in the classroom "in the course of face-to-face teaching activities" as part of the regular curriculum is not considered a public performance (17 USC 110).

Using films from University Libraries

Some films have public performance rights included with the Libraries' purchase or subscription. In addition to films from the following companies, some films might have been purchased with public performance rights. Look for a note in the catalog record that a film indicates "includes public performance rights." 


Obtaining Public Performance Rights

The responsibility to secure public performance rights lies with the individual or organization showing the film. Use the company's search function to find whether they own the rights to the film you wish to show. Most will have an option available to request a quote for obtaining the public performance rights to the film. Some common companies that license public performance rights include:



The Copyright Information Guide is provided by the University Libraries as an educational service to the University community.  The information contained in this guide is not legal advice.  Individuals and organizations should consult the Wright State University Office of the General Counsel or their own attorney.