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Media - Public Performance and Streaming Licenses: Background

What is covered in this guide?

This guide is intended to provide general information to Library staff about public performance rights and streaming rights for media owned by the Library. These rights usually apply to videorecordings (VHS or DVD). 

This guide is intended for Library staff for the purpose of giving guidance to faculty or students groups who wish to take advantage of public performance rights or streaming rights granted to Andersen Library. Faculty may also find this guide helpful.

If there are any questions regarding interpretation of these rights, please contact the Andersen Library Collection Manager.

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What are Public Performance Rights?

Public performance rights for a videorecording (DVD or VHS) grant the user permission to show the video in a public place. 

In our context, public performance rights always come with the requirement that the film is shown on-campus, for non-commercial purposes, no admission fees are charged and that no money is made from the performance.

These rights belong to Andersen Library and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and are intended for official university departments and student organizations.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has a helpful Frequently Asked Questions page on public performance rights for videorecordings.

What are Streaming Rights?

Streaming rights allow a user to digitize all or part of a videorecording to make it available online. In our context, these licenses will require the file to be placed on a secure server (D2L) for use of UWW students.

Andersen Library will not purchase separate public performance or streaming rights (i.e., rights that aren't included in the list price) unless they run for the life of the DVD with unlimited uses and are available at a price agreeable to the Library. If faculty want to license rights for shorter periods or time or for specific uses, they should contact their College's technology coordinator.

These rights are licensed by Andersen Library and do not extend to students or other users. Most vendors will allow us to make the streaming files, though in some cases they may send them to us. The Library can bring the DVD and a copy of the license agreement to the Learning Technology Center (LTC) so they can create streaming files for faculty to use in D2L.

Catalog Records

How can you tell if the Library's copy of a DVD or VHS has public performance rights or streaming rights? There will be a note in the Staff View of the catalog record (usually in the 530 or 540 field).

Browser Issues

Note for Library staff: In order to open the links to license agreements on the H drive, you must use Microsoft Edge or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Sorry!