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Copyright & Fair Use: Public Performance

Media Librarian

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Farhad Moshiri
Library-Room 205
Audiovisual Collection, Music Collection, Copyright. Library liaison to Art, Modern Languages, Music, and Theater Arts Departments


Audiovisual Materials Public Performance


Any performance/screening of a copyrighted material, from UIW Libraries Collection, to an audience that includes persons outside of a specific face-to-face classroom in which all students have registered for that class is considered a public performance of that material. In that case, Public Performance Rights (PPR) must be obtained from the copyright holder.




1. Materials with PPR received through ILL (Interlibrary loan) cannot be used in public performance. PPR is not transferable.


2. Some of the educational/documentary DVDs in the library's audiovisual collection have PPR. The bibliographical records of these films

    show that they have PPR. In case of doubt, please ask the audiovisual librarian.


3. The library does not acquire PPR for films separately. Faculty who need to acquire PPR for a film to screen it for an event at UIW, should use

    their departments' funds.


4. Most of the streaming videos online that UIW libraries has subscription to, have PPR unless noted otherwise. There should be no

    admission fee for the screenings.


Music Scores Public Performance


Please note that none of the music scores in UIW Libraries collection has PPR (Public Performance Rights). I order to use library scores in a public concert, you need to obtain permission from the copyright holder of the score. In almost all cases this means the publisher. For more details please go to this link.


There has been a confusion about public performance of music scores and "Public Domain". As we know, almost all publications before 1926 are in public domain. It means they are free of copyright. For example, music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. who lived several hundred years ago are in public domain. The confusion is in "edited" versions of the music of these composers. For example, if a pianist decides to perform a piano sonata by Beethoven by using Schirmer (name of a famous music publisher) edition of the sonata, if this version was edited after 1926, the music score still is copyrighted and the performer needs to get permission from the publisher to perform the sonata in public. Please see the "Public Domain" tab in this guide.

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