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Feature Film Public Performance Rights: Education - Criterion
Under the Canadian Copyright Act any viewing or exhibition of a film in a public place must have a Public Performance Rights license. As the law considers classrooms as public places, private, for-profit institutions are required to have an Education license in order to show films in classrooms for educational purposes.
Education licenses are are available from two vendors: Criterion Pictures and ACF. Between them they cover almost all of the major US and Canadian studios and production companies and many independent producers and foreign films.
The PPR license covers any showing of films as long as the video is legally obtained. It can come from the library's collection, the instructor's personal collection, or a video rental store. Copies that have been dubbed from broadcast or cable, or transferred from another copy, or illegally downloaded, are not covered.
For film events taking place outside of the classroom, institutions must have a separate Entertainment license.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- What are public performance rights?
Under the Canadian Copyright Act any viewing or exhibition of a film in a public place must have a Public Performance Rights license. The law was recently changed to exempt classroom use at not-for-profit educational institutions.
- Who supplies these PPR licenses?
The licenses are with the two leading Canadian PPR licensing agencies, Audio Cine Films (ACF) and Criterion Pictures. Each agency represents a number of studios, and their license is a "blanket license" covering all or almost all films produced by the studio. Between them the two agencies cover almost all of the major US and Canadian studios and production companies, and many independent producers and foreign films.
- The license covers video, DVD, and laserdisc. Film (16 and 35 mm) is not covered.
- Films may not be hosted on course management software and streamed to students.
- What types of uses are covered at my university/college?
At not-for-profit institutions, the showing of films in the classroom no longer requires obtaining a PPR licence. The basic Educational PPR licence is now only for for-profit institutions.
- A student group on campus would like to do a "movie night" and show a film. Are they covered by the Education license?
No. The student group must purchase a separate Entertainment license to do their movie night, unless your institution has the appropriate blanket PPR Entertainment licence.