Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


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.

Subscription Services

Subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon have very detailed membership agreements that may 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. For students that do not have a subscription, many of these services also provide free trials.

Amazon Prime

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).


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 information under the synopsis reading "Grant of Permissions for Educational Screenings" with applicable uses clearly defined.  

Need more information?

Questions about copyright, fair use, and best practices for performance and display of films should be directed to


Streaming Media from non-Subscription Sources

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).