Skip to Main Content
NWACC Library


Copyright Best Practices

Where to start?

Face-to-Face Exemption For Classroom Use

When you're using a film, video, or TV program in a classroom for teaching or educational purposes, such performance or display of the entire work may be allowed without permission under the face to face teaching exemption at 17 U.S.C. §110(1). The faculty member may show the film/movie outside the normal class period (at night for example), however, it is only for those students who are registered for the class. The movie must also be shown in spaces that are designated for instruction; therefore library screening rooms, residence halls or student center lounges/cafeterias do not qualify. A faculty member cannot show it for his/her class and then open it up to the rest of the campus. In order to invite others public viewing rights must be purchased. Acceptable attendance for films in which the copyright is not purchased only include students registered for the class, the instructor and guest lecturer(s).

See below for information on streaming content in online classes.

It's Easy to Obtain a Public Performance License

Should NWACC faculty and staff wish to screen a film and invite the public or other members of the NWACC community not in a class, obtaining a public performance license is easy and usually requires no more than a phone call or email. Fees are determined by such factors as the number of times a particular movie is going to be shown, how large the audience will be, if admission will be charged, and so forth. While fees vary, they are generally less expensive for smaller audiences with no admission charge. Most licensing fees are based on a particular performance or set of performances for specified films. Please contact the library at if you would like assistance with a quote for public performance rights.

Streaming Content in Online Classes

When showing a film in an online class, it may be considered fair use depending on how much of the film is being shown and for what purpose. Please use the Fair Use Evaluator tool for help in determining if your use falls under Fair Use.

If fair use does not apply, the library's subscribes to a few streaming films databases, such as Academic Video Online, Kanopy, and O'Reilly for Higher Education, This link opens in a new windoand some of the Gale databases also contain some streaming video content. For feature films the Library and Distance Education share the cost of educational streaming rights via the providers Kanopy and Swank.

Costs for educational rights for feature films begin at around $100/semester. Requests for streaming content need to be submitted to the library a minimum of 30 days prior to the date they are needed using our Streaming Video Request Form.

You can view all the films we currently have educational streaming rights to by logging into each streaming database.