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Copyright, Fair Use, and Public Performance Rights

What are Public Performance Rights?


Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film or video (media). Normally the media producer or distributor manages these rights. The rights-holder can assign PPR to others through a Public Performance License. It is considered a public performance if any of the following are true:

  • The screening is open to the public
  • The screening is in a public space (dorm lounge, library, auditorium, etc.)
  • Access is not restricted 
  • Persons attending are outside normal constituency (visitors to campus)

Showing media, whether borrowed from the library or rented, purchased, or streamed, to groups outside of the classroom may be illegal, and may place the University at legal risk.

When are Public Performance Rights Required? 

PPR are required if you are screening copyrighted media to audiences for purposes that fall outside regular curriculum-based instruction. These include:

  • Student organization events (e.g. movie night)
  • Meetings, programs, or other events on campus
  • Film series/festivals

PPR are not required for:

Swank Digital Campus


Swank Digital Campus, a film streaming service provided by the Middle Georgia State University Library, does not include public performance rights with their film licenses unless specifically requested through their services.  When a public performance license is requested, an additional fee is required on top of the film license itself.  This is determined by the publishing house, the film provider (Swank), the amount of people who will be watching the film, and the number of times the film will be played.

Public performance fee quotes can be requested by a librarian when needed.



Kanopy, a second streaming service provided by the Library, will occasionally supply public performance rights with a licensed film.  This is usually noted by a PPR icon which means the film can be used for events through the library and by faculty/staff as long as no fee is charged.  These rights extend to the film title and any images from the Kanopy website that may be used for advertising the screening, as long as source credit is given to Kanopy.  If no PPR icon exists, that means the film does not include public performance rights and a quote for the license will be needed.

Films On Demand


Films on Demand is by far the largest collection of streaming films/documentaries available through the Library.  They allow for films to be streamed, displayed, and publicly performed as long as the Infobase Services system is used via internal network; ie: MGA network.  This maintains that the user is authorized to use the materials and is behind a password-protected network.

Example PPR Providers

Criterion Pictures USA, Inc. 
8238-40 Lehigh
Morton Grove, IL 60053-2615
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) 
5455 Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066-6970
Kino International Corp. 
333 W. 39th Street, Ste. 503
New York, N.Y. 10018
Movie Licensing USA 
(A division of Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.)
10795 Watson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63127-1012
Milestone Film & Video 
P.O. Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640-0128

Contact a Campus:

478-471-2709 for the Macon campus library | 478-934-3179 for the Roberts Memorial Library at the Cochran campus | 478-275-6772 for the Dublin campus library

478-374-6833 for the Eastman campus library | 478-929-6804 for the Warner Robins campus library | On the Go? Text-A-Librarian: 478-285-4898

Middle Georgia State University Library

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