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Course & Subject Guides

Copyright and Intellectual Property Toolkit

Here you can find information, resources, and tools to address copyright issues and concerns in research and teaching.

Obtaining a Public Performance License

Educational films and videos

Some educational films, when purchased, may already have public performance rights. However, just because the film is educational in nature or produced by a nonprofit organization does not guarantee PPR are included. Such films or videos usually cost more than the average movie you'd buy on DVD or online (think a couple of hundred dollars, not $19.95). Educational films or videos with a PPR license generally may allow you to show the video in public on more than one occasion.

In general, the University Library System does not buy educational films with PPR licenses. 

Commercial films

While the University Library System purchases commercial films (e.g., Hollywood-produced movies) for university use and educational needs, these films are not purchased with public performance rights. Permission to show or display the film must be acquired separately. Generally, the PPR license to use the film is good for only one time.

Generally, the cost for a PPR for a commercial film one that can range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the work and the copyright owner.

The University Library System does not purchase PPR licenses for commercial films for Pitt students, staff, or faculty.

More about PPR Licenses

The section entitled “Showing Media Outside Classes (PPR)” in this LibGuide created by a librarian at the University of Montana may provide you with some direction on searching for and acquiring a PPR license for a film you want to show in a non-classroom, non-instructional setting.

There are a number of companies in the U.S. that offer PPR licenses for films. These include Swank Motion Pictures, Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, and others. The University of Montana LibGuide provides contact information for these companies.