This guide provides general information related to copyright, but does not provide legal advice. The creators assume no liability for the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of information provided on this site or linked sites. For legal advice, readers should contact a qualified attorney.
For questions related to copyright at Furman University, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Title 17 U.S. Code § 110 provides a specific exemption to copyright limitations on display and performance of film and music in the classroom including:
For the purposes of Furman, this applies to in-person and virtual classes as well as CLPs (Cultural Life Program events).
|Format||Use in Classroom?||Notes|
|Blu-Ray / DVD / VHS||Yes||This applies both to copies held by the Furman Libraries and legally made personal copies. Search for films in Library Catalog.|
|Streaming content owned by the Libraries||Yes||Streaming content purchased by the Libraries from sources such as Kanopy, Films on Demand, Swank, or others. Search for films in Library Catalog.|
|YouTube, Vimeo, or other streaming content not owned by the Libraries||Yes||Many streaming platforms like YouTube are filled with copyright infringing content. To prevent violating copyright, make sure the video that you show is streamed directly from the site and is not downloaded. Do not record or make a copy of the video in any way. Be aware that copyright infringing content on these platforms may be removed suddenly and without notice. Whenever possible, we recommend showing a legally purchased or created version of the video/film.|
Yes (Live TV)
No (Recorded TV)
|TV Programming may be shown live at the time of broadcast. Read instructions for accessing live TV in the classroom. Recording a TV program using a DVR, VCR tape or other similar means is not a lawfully made copy, and therefore cannot be shown in the classroom.|
|Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and other content
from personally owned subscription streaming services
Subscription streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon have very detailed membership agreements that frequently restrict the streaming of their content in a classroom or other public venue.
When you agree to the membership terms, you enter into a contract and are bound by the terms of that agreement even if applicable exceptions to copyright would otherwise allow it. If you plan to show programs available through Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other subscription or short term rental streaming services, we encourage you to require your students to access that content outside of class through their own subscription or account.
Amazon has not made provisions for educational screenings of its content. Streaming Amazon content in a classroom setting would be a direct violation of licensing terms (section 4h).
Disney+ has not made provisions for educational screening of its content. Streaming Disney+ content may be a direct violation of their streaming agreement.
HBO has not made provisions for educational screenings of its content through personal accounts. Streaming HBO content in a classroom setting would be a direct violation of licensing terms (section 6a).
Some HBO documentaries are available in Kanopy for individual purchase. Submit a Video Request if you are interested in purchasing one of these titles.
Hulu has not made provisions for educational screenings of its content. Streaming Hulu content in a classroom setting would be a direct violation of licensing terms (section 3.2).
Netflix allows some of its documentaries to be shown in a face-to-face educational setting. To see if the Netflix program you wish to view permits educational use, visit the Netflix Media Center and search for the program you wish to show. If the title is permitted for educational use, you will see a link under the film's image reading "Before screening this title, read the Educational Screenings Permission (ESP)" with applicable uses clearly defined.
Questions about copyright, fair use, and best practices for performance and display of films should be directed to email@example.com
The Digital Collections Center has the equipment to convert physical video/audio materials like VHS, DVDs, and cassette tapes into digital files. When we receive a request to convert physical audio/video materials to digital files, we follow this process:
Under these exceptions, the Digital Collections Center will:
Note: Digital copies of physical audio/video materials that are produced and/or related to Furman University may be retained in Special Collections and Archives for preservation purposes.
Faculty may play shows from live TV in the classroom at the time of broadcast. Programs recorded using a DVR or other means may not be shown in the classroom, because this constitutes a violation of copyright.
Faculty wishing to use live TV in their classroom, may do so by following the steps below. View available TV channels.
Log-in using your myresnet account to watch live TV
In some cases, audio or video works can be purchased with Public Performance Rights (PPRs), which license the right to perform the work in public beyond the narrow classroom exception. 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 or from the distribution company (most documentaries or independent films).
Here are a list of organizations that hold PPR for many films. We recommend starting with Swank.