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Copyright at DePauw: Public Performance Rights (PPR) for Screening Media

This guide will give you a brief overview of U.S. Copyright Laws and open access as it pertains to your experience at DePauw. This guide is not intended to supply legal advice.

What are Public Performance Rights (PPR)?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film or video. It is 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 the normal circle of a family and its acquaintances  

PPR are not required for:

  • Home viewing
  • Screening a film only to registered students in a classroom, where the content of the film directly relates to the course

PPR are required for all screenings of copyrighted media to audiences outside of regular classroom activity:

  • Student club events
  • Sponsored extracurricular events such as general lectures
  • Film series

DePauw Libraries

The DePauw Libraries acquire media to support the curriculum. Face-to-face teaching is exempt from Public Performance Rights (PPR) and the libraries do not typically secure PPR with media purchases.

It is the responsibility of the user, not the DePauw Libraries, to investigate the procurement of PPR rights. The libraries will provide reasonable assistance to help users identify if the library's copy includes PPR or to identify the distributor who may hold the rights to the media.

Copyright Law

Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code ( provides an exemption for certain educational uses of video recordings. Specifically, it allows for "performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction."