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Classroom Performance & Display

Title 17 U.S. Code § 110 provides a specific exemption to copyright limitations on display and performance for the classroom. This allows for the performance of music or film in the classroom if:

  • Performance occurs in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution;
  • in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction;
  • with a pedagogical purpose;
  • via a lawfully made copy.

Streaming Media for Instruction

The TEACH Act attempts to harmonize the face-to-face exemptions for classroom display and performance for the online classroom. While there are significantly more limitations on digital situations than face-to-face, the TEACH Act does provide some safe harbors that did not previously exist.

If you are considering digitizing and making media for classroom instruction available through Box, it is important to familiarize yourself with the TEACH Act. The Copyright Crash Course from the University of Texas offers an excellent analysis and checklist for the TEACH Act:

Films with Public Performance Rights

In some cases, works can be purchased with Public Performance Rights (PPRs), which license the right to perform the work in public beyond the narrow classroom exception of §110. Very few films, including only a small number held by the Furman University Libraries, are already licensed for public performance. PPR licenses can often be purchased from vendors such as Swank Motion Pictures (most major motion pictures) or from the distribution company (most documentaries or independent films).