Copyright protection for audiovisual materials such as movies and music extend beyond physical copying to protecting when these works can be shown, played, or performed in public (including radio, television, internet streaming, and live performance).
If you wish to show a video or play music that is not your own for a public audience, mostly likely you will need to obtain a Public Performance Rights license for the specific music or video you wish to use. For example, you cannot simply show your personal copies of videos or the library’s copies to the public, with or without a charge.
It is not necessary to obtain Public Performing Rights when playing films or music in a classroom setting, as this use is covered under the educational exception in the copyright law.
Film: Many of the films in the Audiovisual Center, especially documentaries, are purchased with Public Performing Rights, so if you are interested in showing a film for the public, please check with the audiovisual librarian. If the library copy does not have Public Performing Rights, the audiovisual librarian may also help you find where Public Performing Rights may be purchased.
Music: Radio stations often purchase blanket public performance licenses from BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC for the underlying composition and then another blanket license for the specific sound recordings through SoundExchange. If you want to include a sound recording on a podcast or video, for example, you will need at mechanical license for each individual song; often, those rights can be obtained through the Harry Fox Agency.