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Streaming Video and Audio: Copyright and PPR

A guide to selecting and using streaming video and audio resources available through the University at Buffalo Libraries.
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2024 10:05 AM

Copyright and Videos

The following resources have detailed information regarding using copyrighted videos in the classroom. Please see the FAQs tab for examples.

Many common questions regarding using UB teaching tools, resources, and platforms like Zoom, can be accessed through UB’s Teach Anywhere webpage.

Teaching with Videos

Public Performance Rights (PPR)

What are Public Performance Rights?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the right to show media to groups. The producer or distributor assigns the rights for public performance.

When is PPR needed?

PPR is needed if media will be shown outside of home viewing or classroom use. This includes film series, student or faculty sponsored lectures, and club events. PPR generally require that no admission be charged to see the film, and often include specific regulations that may vary from one film distributor to another. For example, some distributors require a film with PPR to only be shown on campus or to those affiliated with the university.

What happens if a PPR is not obtained?

The sponsoring group of the event can be put at legal risk; as well as the owner/renter of the media that was shown without the PPR license. For example, if it was a film owned or watched through the Libraries databases, the Libraries' access to the database could be revoked, among other risks.

Does any media purchased by University Libraries have the PPR?

It varies by title. It is usually noted in the UB Catalog which titles have PPR. Some streaming databases automatically come with PPR, as in the case of Academic Videos Online (AVON). The responsibility for securing PPR resides with the individual or group sponsoring the film event. 

Do I have to purchase the DVD or streaming video if my club or group wants to use it for a public viewing?

Many times you can "rent" the film or films. But there are not any general rules about this; it is a title by title decision made by the producer or distributor. The majority of films require PPR for special events. Major motion pictures, which are most often requested by groups on campus, require a PPR license from a specific company. 

Obtaining Public Performance Rights

The group or person who shows a title publicly is responsible for obtaining the PPR license, even if it is a title already owned by the Libraries. Please contact library media staff for questions. Most major motion pictures require a PPR license that is separate from the manner by which you access the content. For example, you may have checked out a library DVD. In addition, you would need to secure a separate and current PPR license likely via Swank, Criterion or Kino Lorber to legally show the film to your group. 

These are some groups and companies that assist in securing PPR licenses.  Information about the media that they own the rights for can be found on each site:

Source of PPR information: SUNY Binghamton Libraries

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