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Copyright Resource Guide: Media and Copyright

A guide that provides direction and resources to faculty with regards to the application of the Teach Act, and to students with regard to intellectual property and photocopying.

Video in the classroom FAQ's

Can faculty show copyrighted videos to a class?

Yes, although there are some boundaries. The copy must be lawfully made and cannot be a copy of the video/DVD. The showing must be:

·     in a ‘regular part of systematic instructional activities’

·     in a nonprofit educational institution

·     in a classroom or "similar place devoted to instruction"

·     An instructional activity must be taking place. The activity should not be open to the public. The use of the video should be limlited to the campus grounds.

Can rental store videos/DVDs be used to show in class?

Yes, these are lawfully made. Netflix videos are also allowed. Please know that faculty should follow fair use guidelines when using DVD’s in the classroom

Can library videos be shown in class?


Does the library have a video player?

Yes. A TV with a video player is available in the library. Students can ask librarians for access to use it in the library.

Does the library have a DVD player?

Yes. The library has a DVD player which can be checked out from the library desk. Students can also view DVD media on the library computers or on their laptops.

Can I show a video to a group off campus if it does not have public performance rights?

No. If the group is OU related, even if it is being held off-campus, you will still need public performance rights or the permission of the creator/author to show it to a group.

Do I need public performance rights to show a video in a class?


When do I need public performance rights?

This is necessary when a video is shown and not related to a teaching activity.

all ou Campus clubs and social events wishing to show videos must have permission or public performance rights. Any event that is open to the public is a public performance and needs public performance rights. If a video does not have public performance rights it must be purchased before the video/DVD can be shown.

How do I go about getting public performance rights?

The library or Tisha Foster in the Dean/Provost's Office can assist you and guide you to permissions agencies.  Contact the OU Librarians: 785-248-2535/6 (Library) or 785-248-2570

Do the Libraries' videos automatically come with public performance rights?

No. it is not automatic for every video/DVD, although some video suppliers include public performance rights with the basic purchase. When available, the library has a policy of purchasing videos with public performance rights.

In some cases you have to purchase the rights on a situational basis. Documentaries are often available for purchase with public performance rights, but feature films are not. For those, you must inquire for one-time public performance rights as needed.

I need the library to change this Video to a DVD. Can they do that?

The library would have to purchase the video in a different a DVD format. If a video is not available in DVD format it cannot undergo a format change without the permission of the video author.

Can I place my own DVD on reserve for my students to use?

Yes. Instructors at the College may place their own DVD's or Video's on reserve for students to use for class. The library keeps these on reserve for only one semester

When I order a video for the libraries' collections, can I request public performance rights?

Yes. The cost is often higher than the typical video, naturally. Some of the Library's streaming databases come with public performance rights. Check with the OU Librarians at 785-248-2535/6.

How can I tell if the video I am borrowing from the library has public performance rights?

The description of the video in the library's catalog will include a public performance rights statement if these are included.

What about videos that can be purchased with streaming capability? Can I stream videos into my classroom?

The library can investigate the availability and affordability of purchasing individual streaming videos. If purchased, they would be cataloged and can be viewed by OU students, faculty, and staff in the Myers Library Catalog, the Kansas Library Catalog or on OCLC First Search (Go to the Online Databases page in the OU Library Portal, if the video/DVD is held by the library. Those links could be included in Blackboard legally. 

The Myers Library has currently acquired subscriptions two streaming media databases: Alexander Street Press Theater in Video   and Counseling Therapy in Video  (You will need to login to these links with your OUID and password). 

Can I make a compilation of video clips to show in class?

Yes. The Counseling Therapy in Video  and Theater in Video   and has built in capabilities to create clips for their films. 

For performance and display through digital transmission (e.g. Blackboard) see the TEACH Act.


Text of Section 110 (1) for Face-to-face teaching situations:


Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 [of the copyright act], the following are not infringements:

(1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made;


(Copied and edited from University of Missouri-Kansas City LibGuides on Copyright)