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How Does Copyright Affect What You Do?

For Faculty: Using Videos in the Classroom

Remember that one of the rights copyright holder have is the right to publicly display their works. Videos and DVDs and taped television programs are covered by copyright law.

When can you show a mass-produced video or DVD to your students?

If the video comes with “public performance rights" (PPR), you can show it anytime, anywhere, to any group of people. Most videos do not come with public performance rights.

Investigative tip

If you want to know if a video in your school collection comes with PPR, ask your library. Libraries sometimes keep lists of their videos with PPR rights. But these tend to make the video much more expensive, so most videos in your library won't have PPR.

A little detective work turned up the fact that lawmakers wanted to make sure that videos could be used in education - but only for bona fide educational purposes. So they put conditions on how the videos could be shown.

That can be found in s US Code Title 17, Chapter 1, section 110, Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays

Next, we'll learn about when video material is allowed in the classroom.

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updated: 8/9/11