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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

About Us: Film Screenings at UNC Asheville

Film Screenings at UNC Asheville

Film Screenings at UNC Asheville:
Campus Policies and Federal Copyright Law

Public Campus Screening

If you would like to screen a film on campus as part of a public campus program (including an academic film series), you must obtain a Public Performance License (typical range: $300.00 - $500.00) for the individual film(s) from a licensing agent (a list is provided below), which allows you the right to screen your film publicly on the UNC Asheville campus. This license is required even if your film is offered to the public for free and is educational in nature. If using University facilities for the screening, you will be required to provide the appropriate University entity with a copy of the license that specifies the title and screening date of the approved film. Federal Copyright Laws protect all movies viewed in public areas regardless of format (16 mm, 35 mm, video tape or DVD). Video Tapes and DVDs that are available for purchase, rental, or library check-out are for private home viewing purposes only. There are, however, a few exceptions.

You may screen the film publicly if:

1. The film is in the Public Domain.

2. You have written permission from the film’s producer or other holder of the right to grant such permission.

3. The film is obtained from a company that provides a Public Performance License with the purchase of the film. Many of the films purchased by Ramsey Library, particularly popular movies, are restricted to "face-to-face" classroom teaching situations or for private viewing. We do have the Public Performance Rights (PPR) for many films that allow educational groups to exhibit our films to groups of 100 or fewer individuals where admission is not charged. The term of the public performance license is for the life of the DVD or the license term of the streaming version. However, if you intend to charge admission, expect an audience over 100, or publicly advertise the screening, then we ask that you contact us regarding an exhibition fee. Films purchased without Public Performance Rights are restricted for individual viewing or face-to-face teaching in the classroom only.

Classroom Screenings/Face-to-Face Teaching

The Federal Copyright Law allows for the screening of a DVD or videocassette, without a license, in certain narrowly defined face-to-face teaching activities (Federal Copyright Act, Title 17, section 110(1). UNC Asheville understands that the face-to-face teaching exemption is valid only in situations where a teacher is present in a non-public classroom environment, uses a ”lawfully made” DVD, videocassette, or other motion picture or audiovisual work for the purpose of teaching part of a course curriculum, and the screening is not open to the public (i.e., screening is limited to those enrolled in that particular class). This educational exemption only applies to nonprofit academic institutions. Further, a motion picture in whatever format (including DVD or videocassette) that has been made by copying or recording on a home (or similar) recording device (e.g., VHS or DVD recorder) is not lawfully made for purposes of this exemption. A DVD or video recording that was manufactured and distributed by an entity having the right to do so, and that has been purchased, rented, or borrowed from a library, is lawfully made.