Film and Media Studies

Explore research tools in the fields of film, artistic media, and cinema

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Public Performance FAQ and Definitions

What are Public Performance Rights (PPR)?
Copyrighted films (and this is most of them) are not automatically licensed for public performance (this means showing a movie/film in a dorm, auditorium, or any other kind of public space).  The only legal exception to this rule is if an instructor shows the video/dvd in a classroom and that the activity is for teaching (aka: face-to-face teaching).  For more information, visit the sites listed below.

Do the JHU Libraries purchase films with Public Performance Rights?
Due to the extra cost and the fact that we are an academic institution, the Library usually does not purchase films with PPR.  Some publishers and distributors (e.g., Films for the Humanities, Film Movement) do make PPR available free of charge so these films may be shown anywhere/anytime, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

Search the JHU Libraries Catalog

Finding Library Holdings with PPR

Films for which the library acquired Public Performance Rights (PPR) have notes stating public performance rights granted.

So, to find videos that the library owns that include PPR, search public performance rights granted as general keywords in the online catalog.  You may also add other keywords to your search to find materials on a particular topic of by a particular filmmaker.

Obtain PPR

If you want to show a copyrighted film in a public setting, you will need to contact one of these companies to obtain permission. Start with Swank.