Copyright Resources: Public Performance Rights for Screening Media

This guide provides links to copyright resources at the University of Kansas, including a Copyright Decision Tree to help those that want to use copyrighted materials in their research and teaching.


This guide is intended to provide information and resources about Public Performance Rights for screening film media within and outside of the classroom, to include materials currently owned by KU units and other materials.

Public Performance Rights Overview & Resources

What are Public Performance Rights (PPR)?

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 (or their designate) can assign PPR to others through a Public Performance License.

When are Public Performance Rights required?

PPR are not required for:


PPR are required for:

  • All screenings of copyrighted media to audiences outside of regular curriculum. Examples:

    • Student club events

    • Extracurricular sponsored events such as general lectures

    • Film series

    • Online teaching environments


Why should I learn about Public Performance Rights?

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 risk legally.

KU Libraries content and PPR

Since KU Libraries acquires media to support the curriculum, and face-to-face teaching is exempt from PPR, KU Libraries does not typically secure PPR with video purchases due to higher associated costs. However, many distributors of our educational videos include PPR in the purchase price, which means these videos can be shown under conditions specified by the license. Where PPR have been purchased with KU Libraries content there will generally be a statement in the notes field on the record in the catalog, and sometimes on the content itself. For more information about KU Libraries and PPR video content, contact

For general information about streaming video provided through KU Libraries see this Streaming Video guide. Please note that streaming content is also subject to license restrictions and may also require PPR for public viewing.

Securing Public Performance Rights

Individuals and organizations are responsible for obtaining performance rights for publicly screened media. KU community-members seeking PPR rights may contact Ask a Librarian for assistance determining what rights are needed, who should acquire them, and from where.

More explanations about PPR

Scholarly Communication Librarian

Head, Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright

Ada Emmett's picture
Ada Emmett
Schulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication and Copyright

Watson Library room 450



This guide is heavily based, with permission, on this excellent guide from Arizona State University Libraries.