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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 Electronic Resources Librarian.

Get Help: Contact a Librarian

What are Public Performance Rights?

Public performance rights (PPR) are the legal rights granting permission to show the media to an audience. 

PPR are needed when:

  • the screening is outside the classroom (ex. to a student org)
  • the screening is in a public space (ex. dorm lounge, library, auditorium, etc)
  • the screening is presented to a public audience (ex. film series, public lecture series)

PPR are NOT needed when:

  • viewing media at home/in dorm room in the company of family and friends
  • screening a film only to registered students in a face-to-face classroom, where the content of the film directly relates to the course

Since the Library acquires media to support the curriculum, and face-to-face teaching is exempt from Public Performance Rights (PPR), the Library does not typically secure PPR with media purchases.  However, some distributors of educational media include PPR in the purchase price or we have specifically requested these rights based upon a University request.  In these cases, the Library will note in the RESEARCH@UWW "Get It" tab that the item includes public performance rights. These rights belong to Andersen Library and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and are intended for official university departments and student organizations.

It is the responsibility of the user, not the Library, to investigate the procurement of PPR rights.  The Library will provide reasonable assistance to help users identify if the Library’s copy includes PPR or to identify the distributor who may hold the rights to the media.

What are Streaming Rights?

Streaming Rights are not the same as Public Performance Rights (PPR), or the licensing of films that are already available in streaming format.  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.