Re: copyright question

John Holland (
Mon, 27 Jan 2003 11:50:50 -0800 (PST)

In all of the discussions of PPR that have appeared here over the years, I don't
recall seeing a discussion that included the issue of WHO has the PPR: does it
just apply to the library which purchased it, or do those rights transfer to
anyone who checks it out? When I worked for Films Inc in a former life, the
interpretation was tht PPR was not transferable - that is, whoever bought it
(institution or individual) can show it publicly but not anyone else. This may
not be an issue in an academic library, whereby the entire college, university,
or school could be interpreted as being the purchaser, but in a public library
it is a grey area to my knowledge. Some videos, like A&E/History Channel stuff,
clearly state on the label that they may be used for non-profit public
screenings, and so it would seem to allow anyone to do so. But what about PBS,
Films for the Humanities, etc where the PPR is not indicated on the video but
only in the paperwork from the purchase (or vendor's catalog)? We get people in
here all the time telling us that they want to show a certain video, but our
standard answer is that they should contact the publisher re rights. Any videos
we purchased with PPR we have considered cleared for Chicago Public Library
screenings only (although at any branch in the system).
Any thoughts, feedback, or definitive knowledge?

"Sebly, Donna" wrote:

> Dear Holly,
> You do indeed need Public Performance Rights to show any video or
> dvd in a public space. I wanted to begin a film discussion group in my
> library and ran into the same problem. However, thanks to our wonderful
> media center at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, I was able to find lots of
> films owned by the library, ready for lending--free--and available for
> viewing with PPR. (The program fell through for unrelated reasons.) Still,
> you do need PPR to show a video in a program, even if it is a free one.
> Donna Sebly
> Harford County Public Library
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Holly Sammons []
> Sent: Friday, January 24, 2003 9:43 AM
> To: Multiple recipients of list
> Subject: Re: copyright question
> This has been a great discussion but I must confess I'm getting confused.
> A few years ago I wanted to run a 'movie night' at my library. We'd show
> a feature film, eat popcorn, then have a small discussion after. I was
> told I needed to get PPR before I did this. The viewing would have been
> free, we would show a video owned by my library, and there would be NO
> commercial gain to the institution - merely some use statistics for the
> bean counters.
> Am I wrong to assume I need PPR for this sort of purpose?
> --
> Holly Sammons, Librarian
> Onondaga County Public Library
> 447 So Salina St
> Syracuse NY 13202
> 315-435-1894

John Holland
Chicago Public Library
Media Express
(312) 747-4100