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Feature Film Public Performance Rights: Entertainment - ACF
Under the Canadian Copyright Act any viewing or exhibition of a film in a public place must have a Public Performance Rights license. At not-for-profit institutions, the showing of films in the classroom no longer requires obtaining a PPR licence; however, other uses such as student movie nights do require an Entertainment license.
Entertainment Rights licenses are available from two vendors, Audio Cine Films and Criterion Pictures. 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.
See the FAQ section for detailed information on rights and restrictions with the ACF PPR Entertainment licence.
Note to ACF Streaming subscribers: PPR for streamed video is already included in the ACF Streaming subscription. However, performances of ACF-covered films that are not on the streaming service still require this 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.
Entertainment Rights included:
- The films can be shown anywhere on campus, but only indoors. Special application is required for outdoor events.
- Films can be shown by someone other than an instructor, e.g. a student club, a staff training event.
- The audience can include students and staff, with some members of the public present (however, see the limitation below).
- The event must be free to attend -- no cost or cover charge. Showing films at charity fund-raisers is allowed, but only when the cost is purely by donation
- If a presenter wishes to charge admission for cost recovery purposes, please contact BC ELN with details, including film title, proposed admission fee, and expected audience size. BC ELN will send to ACF for approval.
- The license covers only films that have been released for rental and home purchase; films still in theatrical release are not covered.
- The primary audience of the event must be members of the institution. Event advertising must be limited to media targeted at the university/college and its students and staff. In the case of print advertising, the advertisements may only appear in campus media (e.g. a student newspaper) and not in general community newspapers.