Thursday, December 3, 2015

Can I Show This Movie in my Class?...or Public Performance Rights in Schools

Over the course of the last few weeks, the issue of public performance rights has come up a few I thought it might be a good blog post.

The three questions I received were:

  • Do I need to pay for public performance rights to show a movie to my class?
  • Can I show a movie from home to my class and/or to multiple classes at the same time?
  • Can I show YouTube videos in class?

Here is my take on these questions:

With regard to the movies, yes the teacher can show the movie to his/her class(es), providing the following conditions have been met:

  • the copy of the movie was obtained legally (bought, borrowed, NOT PIRATED).
  • the movie will be shown during school time, to (mainly) students, and be for “educational purposes.”
  • no admittance can be charged (fundraising, etc).
Please note that if all of the above conditions have been met, there is no need to purchase a license to show the movie(s).
YouTube video can be legally viewed in class. HOWEVER, you must follow the terms of service for YouTube, which states that the video must be streamed live (not downloaded to a server, etc.).
Showing Netflix in class is a violation of Netflix terms of use, so no Netflix in class.
If you are interested in learning more about the new copyright law (2012), here are some excellent links which provide solid information about copyright as it relates to education.

Interesting Resources:
  • Finally, The Council of Ministers of Education, the author of  Copyright Matters site provides information for educators on copyright. Copyright Matters!
  • Care to peruse the actual Copyright Act? If you like that kind of thing here is it is.   
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions...Please note that copyright on audio material (songs, radio, etc.) is different...and can be the subject of another post sometime...

p.s. Legal Mumbo Jumbo: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice.
p.p.s. Writing Mumbo Jumbo: Mostly Madman writing here,  folks.

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