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Copyright Reminder

Copyright and intellectual property issues are a part of the fabric of research and scholarly communications, and thus all Stanford faculty, students and staff need a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives. The Copyright Reminder, which highlights common campus copyright concerns and outlines fundamental elements of US copyright law, is distributed annually to ensure that the Stanford community remains aware of those issues.

Public displays of movies & video

Generally speaking, video tapes and DVDs that are purchased, rented, or checked out of the library are for home viewing purposes, unless you have a license to use them elsewhere.  That means no license is required to view a recording in your dorm room, or with family or friends.  However, any public display - on campus or off - requires a license, unless the display qualifies for the face-to-face teaching exemption, as discussed below.  There is a common misconception that you only need a license if you plan to charge a fee to view the movie. Even where do you not plan to charge a fee, you must secure a license unless the narrow face-to-face teaching exemption applies.

To obtain a public performance license, you need to contact a licensing organization. Major firms that handle these licenses include:

Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.

(800) 876-5577

Criterion Pictures

(800) 890-9494

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC}

(800) 462-8855