Public Performance Rights


The rules governing the public exhibition of video and audio vary. The differences are described below.



Under the provisions of the current Copyright Act (the Act) permission must be obtained prior to the exhibition (“public performance”) of films in any public setting. Some exceptions to this rule apply and are outlined in section 29 “Fair Dealing” of the Act. Additionally, if the copyright term has expired on the film it becomes public domain and no permissions are required to exhibit it.

At the University of Winnipeg, Public Performance Rights (PPR) must be obtained for films screened on campus, including films exhibited within a classroom. Aside from films that have entered the public domain, PPR are not required for films that are viewed individually, or films screened for a small group in a domestic setting.

The Library obtains PPR for much of its video collection by purchasing educational films packaged with classroom or institutional performance rights. NFB, Insight Media and the Films for Humanities series are all examples of films purchased with these rights which permit non-commercial on-campus use. Such films can be used, for example, in a classroom or an on-campus student film night as long as no admission is charged.

The Library has also entered into public performance site licence agreements with the two major non-theatrical rights distributors in Canada: Criterion Pictures and Audio Cine Films (ACF). These agreements permit the non-commercial exhibition of a variety of “Hollywood” films on campus, even if that film is not in the Library’s collection. To determine if a film you have rented can be shown in the classroom you may see if that film is covered by either ACF or Criterion Pictures agreements by performing a search in their respective film databases below.


New to 2012: The Library has secured extended entertainment rights licenses with ACF and Criterion Pictures. This allows for the public screening on-campus of films in the ACF or Criterion Pictures repertoire. These films can be exhibited on campus for audiences that consist primarily of students, faculty or staff of the University as long as an admittance fee is not charged (you may accept donations however).

For further information about specific performance rights covered by Library’s agreements with ACF andCriterion Pictures please see the BC ELN Feature Film Public Performance Rights FAQ

Determining PPR Status on Library Videos


To determine whether a video in our collection has public performance rights for use in the classroom or public venues on campus, check in the Library catalogue for the item and look for one of the following notes:




If a video cannot be used in the classroom or in a public venue on campus, there will be a note in the library catalogue that says:


In addition to the information provided in the Library catalogue, most videos will have one of the following labels:

Personal Use Only [may be signed out and used in the library or at home]

Classroom Use Permitted [may be signed out for use in the classroom or in a public venue on-campus because the video is covered by the ACF or Criterion license agreement or was purchased with public performance rights]


In the case of many documentary videos, instructors will be able to sign out the video for a classroom presentation, but students and external borrowers will be able to view the film in the Library only. In these instances, the video will be labeled with both of these statements:

Library Use Only [applies to students and external borrowers] and

Classroom Use Permitted [may be signed out by instructors]



The Library’s collection of audio media (records, tapes, CD’s) can be used in the classroom without further licensing as can other audio media not held in the Library’s collection. The Library has not entered into any site licence agreements with respect to the performance of “sound recordings”, as many required institutional uses fall under the ‘fair dealing’ exception of the Act. Please refer to section 29.5 of the Act, excerpted below to determine if your use of audio media is covered by this exception. If not, you will need to receive permission, and pay royalties, to the copyright holder(s).

Copyright Act, RSC 1985, c C-42 


(b) the performance in public of a sound recording or of a work or performer’s performance that is embodied in a sound recording […]