Public Performance

Public performance of a copyrighted work on campus generally will involve licensing that work for display under copyright law. This includes dramatic productions, readings, and displays of film, video, or audio that are made available for a general audience to attend or view (and not limited to enrolled students in a course). This covers both events held at a particular location and time, and broadcast via cable television on campus. Any performance that takes place on campus will generally be considered a public performance; even sporting events.

Musical Performances

Permission to perform copyrighted works of music may be obtained through ASCAP and BMI, two companies that Luther College has performance agreements with.

Contact the Campus Programming Office to request performance permission through ASCAP and BMI. Any music or dramatic work not covered by these agreements requires permission from the copyright owner, and individuals or groups desiring to use such works must seek permission of the copyright owner.

Additionally, permission to perform a dramatic work does not automatically give license to videotape the performance. If the dramatic work is protected by copyright, permission is required to videotape a performance as well as retain and distribute that videotape.

Film Screenings

Public film screenings require a public performance license. Generally, films owned by the Library or individually purchased DVDs do not come with public performance rights. You can often acquire a one-time public performance license from a third-party licensing company like Criterion or Swank. For independent films you may need to contact the rights holder individually.

No License Needed

Public performances of copyrighted works are permitted under certain circumstances without seeking permissions. Generally speaking, public performances of dramatic works (such as films, plays, musicals, etc.) are acceptable without a license when:

  • when a performance takes place in the course of a face-to-face teaching activity.
  • when it is conducted in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.
  • in the case of an audiovisual work, when the copy has been lawfully made.

If in doubt, you should seek permission from the copyright holder.