Public Performance Rights Policy

Public Performance Rights Policy

Those wishing to exhibit a film or other media in a space on the University of Dallas campus must produce documentation that a public performance license has been obtained.

Willful infringement is a federal crime that carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.  Not only is the event sponsor responsible, but the University could also be liable for any civil penalties.  Colleges and Universities are the most frequent violators and are closely monitored.

What are Public Performance Rights?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film or other media.  Normally, the media producer or distributor manages these rights.  The copyright holder can assign PPR to others through the public performance licensing process.

When are Public Performance Rights necessary?

It is a public performance, and therefore a public performance license is required, if any of the following apply:

  • the screening is open to the public
  • the screening is in a public space, including a dorm lounge, auditorium, library, etc.
  • access is not restricted
  • persons attending the screening are outside the normal circle of family or friends

Examples of public performances include:

  • showing a film in your dorm room to a large group of acquaintances
  • showing a film during a club or organization meeting
  • a film series or lecture that is open to the public
  • showing a film in the classroom for curriculum-related purposes, but inviting others outside the class to attend.

Examples of non-public performances include:

  • privately viewing the film in your dorm room with a small group of friends
  • showing a film in the classroom only to registered students where the content of the film directly relates to the course topic or is a regular part of systematic instructional activities.

How to obtain Public Performance Rights

Individuals and organizations are responsible for obtaining PPR for all public showings of film and other media. 

Permissions can be obtained by contacting one of the following licensing agencies:

 Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a public performance license?

Public performance licenses vary depending on the film's copyright holder, the popularity of the film, the age of the film, and other factors.  Public performance licenses can vary from $50 to hundreds of dollars. 

Does iTunes or Redbox offer a public performance license?

No, all iTunes and Redbox rentals are strictly for private home viewing.  Public performances from iTunes or Redbox materials is in violation of the terms of use for these services.

Are there any movies that don't require a public performance license?

The Internet Archive has educational public domain films available for download.  The movies are stored in MPEG format and should be downloaded instead of streaming the video.

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information about this policy, please contact Karin Rilley, General Counsel, at or 972-721-5363 or Cherie Hohertz, Dean of University Libraries and Research, at or 972-721-5040.



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