University Events and Student Programs

Guidelines for Public Viewing


The purpose of this statement is to educate the campus community on the responsibility one must take when holding public viewings of films. slideshows, videos, DVDs or any other licensed production.

Intention of US Copyright Laws: Copyright laws are intended to protect the rights and interests of authors and artists, to protect their due credit and financial compensation for their works against piracy, against other people stealing their deserved credit and profits. Copyright laws are also intended to protect the licenses and patents belonging to inventors and entrepreneurs.

Items that are protected under US Copyright Laws: (1) literary works; (2) musical works, including any accompanying words; (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music; (4) pantomimes and choreographic works; (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works; (7) sound recordings; and (8) architectural works. (Source: Library of Congress – US Copyright Law —

Procedures to follow for Public Viewings: Student organizations may sponsor slide shows, videotapes, DVDs or films on campus provided they do not charge admission nor solicit donations for the showings. In addition, they must either (a) receive written permission from the copyright owner to hold a public viewing or (b) pay for the use of the public viewing using a distributor (see below). Simply purchasing or renting a slide show, videotape, DVD or film from a store or checking one out from a library does not comply with copyright laws.

Distributors/Licensing Corporations:

Swank Motion Picture
Phone: 800.876.5577
Fax: 314.289.2192

MPLC - Motion Picture Licensing Corporation
5455 Centiela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066-6970
Phone: 800.462.8855
Fax: 310.822.4440

Movie Licensing USA
Phone: 877.321.1300

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