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Copyright and Intellectual Property: Public Performance Rights

This guide serves as an introduction to copyright resources and best practices. It is not meant as legal advice.

Public Performance Rights for Screening Media

 What are Public Performance Rights?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film or video (media). Normally the media producer or distributor manages these rights. The rights-holder can assign PPR to others through a Public Performance License.


When are Public Performance Rights Required?

PPR are required for:

  • All screenings of copyrighted media to audiences outside of regular curriculum. Examples:
    • Student club events
    • Extracurricular sponsored events such as general lectures
    • Film series

      PPR are not required for:

      • Home viewing
      • Screening media in the context of face-to-face teaching in the service of regular curricula
        • See: Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 110 of the United States Code

           (Page 24)


      Why should you learn about Public Performance Rights?

      Showing media, whether borrowed from the library or rented / purchased, to groups outside of the classroom may be illegal, and may place the University at risk legally.


      Does the UTEP University Library purchase videos with Public Performance Rights?

      The library purchases feature films in DVD format, chiefly to provide access to standard and classic films and the work of outstanding directors, producers, and actors. These films are generally purchased without public performance rights, so they can be borrowed by individuals for home use or in face-to-face classroom teaching situations.

      See: UTEP Visual Acquisitions Policy

        For More Information

        Securing Public Performance Rights

        Individuals and organizations are responsible for obtaining performance rights for all publicly screened media.

        Some companies to contact to secure PPR license:

        500 W. University Avenue : El Paso, TX, 79968-0582 : (915) 747-5672
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