Public Performance Rights Defination

Jessica Rosner (
Mon, 16 Jul 2001 09:13:18 -0700 (PDT)

I just got freaked out by two separate requests for rights on some of our
The first one was a purchase order for a title at the standard retail price
which came with a document to sign allowing state wide broadcast on the
direct satellite system for distance learning

The second and more disturbing request came from an institution which I had
previously sold titles with PPR rights to. They believe that PPR rights
would include the ability to loan/rent the title to groups or organizations
which could show them to an audience and there was NO indication that this
was limited to the campus and I know the institution involved loans items
around the country.

Now as the first case, I know that there is some discussion about distance
learning and that there is a bill pending that might legalize this but for
the moment anyway I do not allow our titles to be broadcast state wide for
no additional fee. What was particularly disturbing and not at all unique
about the request is that they were just plain lucky that we DID in fact
own PPR on this title. I find that institutions are CONSTANTLY sending forms
out for various PPR uses WITHOUT determining in the company that
MANUFACTURES the tape actually owns those rights. In perhaps a majority of
cases they don't. Given the huge number of titles libraries are purchasing
I am wondering how they could ever have the time to determine who really
owns a title. Studio titles are usually simple but foreign and independent
films have a life of there own

Now as for the second one, I really can't figure this out. No company could
or would sell ppr rights that would allow the purchaser to loan the item
out to third parties for public screenings. There may be limited cases such
as branches or groups within a specific area of a PUBLIC library system
but it would be INSANE and a violation of our contracts to let some
institution rent a title to another institution OUT OF STATE and still
have PPR. In most cases I don't think the lender NEEDS PPR since
standard interlibrary loan would I assume be either for individual or
regular "face to face" instruction BUT the purchaser in this case clearly
was asking for the right to loan the item to ANY non-profit institution and
I know of one other institution which has asked for this in the past.
There is a common misconception that charging admission has something to
do with whether a film is a "public" screening. I know you guys no

I would appreciate feedback on this and my general nightmare is that
there a lot of institutions out there which THINK they have PPR rights
on titles when they do not


Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018