Retail vs. Public Performance Rights under Educational Use

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  • Good morning: I believe that best practice is to purchase videos with Public Performance Rights for use in schools. However, if we choose to purchase a retail version of a video/DVD that is available at a higher cost which includes Public Performance Rights, are we outside of Fair Use? Could you please explain the legalities of this issue? Thanks so much.
  • You do not need to purchase performance rights if you are only going to use the videos in the classroom. There is an exemption in the law that allows non profit educational institutions to use the PP rights for this purpose. Section 110(1)

    So if you buy a video at Target, you can lawfully play that video in the classroom.
    If you want to show the video for entertainment purposes to a group then you do need PP rights.

    Fair use is section 107 of the law. It is a broader exemption in that it says anyone can exercise a right of copyright if the use is fair. Determining fair use involves the consideration of four factors - purpose of the use, nature of the work, amount used, and effect on the market for the work. It is case specific.

    We often talk about fair use as if it were all of the various exceptions in the law , like the teaching exception for videos in the classroom.

    Fair use is not negated by the existence of a more specific exemption.

    I'm not sure if I am answering your question, so please write back.
  • Carrie, I believe you did answer the question. There was an article in the LMC journal that discussed videos and copyright and it seems that somewhere else i also read that retail purchases are intended for home use. I do know that PBS sells an educational video and a retail video. They will not direct sell to a school from the retail side of their business. One must purchase from the educational side. I see many reasons for this besides PPR. One being the educational support online and another because they often alter content for school appropriateness. However, I could go to a retail store and purchase for less. Thanks for your assistance on this.
  • Carrie, I should also ask for clarification where one copy of the video being used by other schools (although probably only in other classrooms) via ILL. so in regard to ILL and being used by a different school than the one that original purchased the video should we have PPR? As a large district, we are ILL videos often both within and outside of our district.

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