Many of us on campus work with student clubs and organizations or participate in a group. From time to time, those groups want the opportunity to show a movie and promote it to the entire campus. It is important to understand that even though Simpson is a private school, we are bound by the copyright laws pertaining to public showings of copyrighted movies and videos. Please, take the time to educate the organization you are working with on the appropriate presentation of movies so that you don’t find yourself, the organizations that you advise or a member of, and Simpson on the receiving end of legal action by a company that owns the rights to the movie that you are showing. The following is a brief guideline you should follow when considering showing a movie on campus. If you any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact the student activities office.

The ONLY location where a movie can be shown without obtaining the public performance rights to the film is in a classroom as a part of a scheduled class that is being taught. ALL other showings need to obtain the appropriate rights to show this movie. This includes ALL clubs, organizations and any other program that you may be planning that involves showing a movie

Also, to clarify, the “public” as referred to in most of these documents means our student body or campus community.

Do I Need To Obtain Performance Rights?


if the screening is open to the public, such as showing a foreign-language film to the community for cultural enrichment
if the screening is in a public space where access is not restricted, such as an instructor showing a film to a class for curriculum-related purposes in a public or unrestricted-access location
if persons attending are outside the normal circle of family and acquaintances, such as showing a film to a club or organization, or showing a film for class but inviting others to attend

if privately viewing the film in your room with friends
if an instructor is showing the film to officially registered students in a classroom, where content of film directly relates to course

Swank Motion Pictures Copyright Guide

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