Motion Picture Showing

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 Public Performance License

Copyright laws regarding the presentation of motion pictures (movies) to the public are very restrictive.  ALL movies have copyright protection and MOST movies require a Public Performance License to be shown anywhere in a public setting. 
Student organizations or University departments interested in showing a motion picture (movie) on the UWSP campus should work with the Campus Activities Office to obtain a Public Performance License for the movie to be exhibited. (Public Performance Licenses are granted by the distribution company that owns the rights to the specific film.  There is a fee charged by the distribution company for the Public Performance Rights.  The fee is determined by the film title, how many times it will be shown, where it will be shown and whether or not admission will be charged to see the movie.)

 Educational Exemption

There is one exception to the public performance license and it is called an “Educational Exemption.”  To obtain this exemption, there are six (6) criteria that must be met:
1)                  Must be a legitimate (original) copy.
2)                  Must be part of the systematic course of instruction and not for the cultural, entertainment or recreational value of anyone present.
3)                  Must be done by the instructor or the pupil.
4)                  Must be in a place devoted to instruction.
5)                  Must be part of the teaching activities of a non-profit institution.
6)                  Attendance must be limited to instructors, pupils and guest lecturers.
While a classroom is obviously a place devoted to instruction, the remaining 5 criteria must be met to show a movie in a classroom without a license. Since no venue in any of the University Centers (Dreyfus, Allen or Health Enhancement Centers) is considered a “place devoted to instruction,” these facilities are not exempt and public performance licenses are needed. 

 Fines and Jail Time

Willful infringement is a federal crime and subject to significant fines and jail sentences.  The sponsoring group, the individuals involved with the showing AND the University would all be held liable.  Colleges and universities are the most frequent violators and are closely monitored.
For further information or assistance in obtaining a Public Performance License to show a movie, please contact the Campus Activities Office, x4343.  caro@uwsp.edu