Film Public Performance Rights

Hosting Films on Campus

  1. You must pay for Public Performances rights for any movie, film, TV show that is not shown in a class time in the scheduled room.
  2. Costs for rights range from $250 to $1000 per film
  3. Documentary costs range from free to $500
  4. If you would like to host a movie on campus, please complete the following:
    1. Reserve your space through university scheduling
    2. Review the license website:
      1. Major motion pictures and TV
      2. Documentaries
      3. International Films
    3. Contact to secure film licensing 


Hand out #1

  1. Can we show a movie in a classroom for free?
    1. No, films can only be shown during scheduled classrooms during the class period.
  2. How much planning time do we need to show a film?
    1. Minimum of two weeks to secure rights
  3. I own the movie. Do I still need a license to show it outside my home?
    1. Yes! The rental, purchase, lending or download of a movie does not provide the right to exhibit it publicly outside the home, unless the screening is properly licensed. This includes streaming
  4. Do we need a license even if we don’t charge admission?
    1. Yes! A license is required for all public performances regardless of whether admission is charged
  5. If I purchased a license to show a movie, can I show that movie
    whenever I want?
    1. No. Licenses are for a specific, designated time frame mutually agreed upon by the licensee and Swank Motion Pictures.


Public Performances

Public Performances: The following guidelines apply to public performances of copyrighted works at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities:

  • The public performance of videos, motion pictures, or other similar audiovisual works without permission from the copyright holder is prohibited.
  • The public performance of non-dramatic works and musical works without the permission from the copyright holder is prohibited, except in the following circumstances:
    1. The performance is not a broadcast or otherwise transmitted to the public (for example, via an internet, radio, or television broadcast)
    2. The performance is without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage (i.e., is not a profit-making venture);
    3. The performance is without any payment of a fee or compensation to performers, promoters, or organizers of the performance; and
    4. There is no direct or indirect admission charge, or if there is one, the proceeds after deducting the reasonable costs of producing the performance are used exclusively for educational, religious, or charitable purposes and not for private financial gain.
      Even if the above circumstances are satisfied, if the copyright owner objects to the performance in writing at least seven days before the performance, the performance may not be held.
  • Per the Office of the Chancellor, "public performance" is defined as follows:
    1. to perform or display the work at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
    2. to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause a) above or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether he members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or different times.