Although there is an exception in the Copyright Act that permits showing a film at a university for educational purposes, this exception does not extend to the screening of films for non-educational, non-classroom university events such as social events put on by student or other groups.

Request Form - Copyright Clearance for Film Showing

In order to show a film for a non-educational university event, copyright clearance for showing the film must first be acquired.

To request copyright clearance for a film showing on campus, please fill out this form.

After the Copyright Office has responded to your request, follow the steps below to acquire a licence if needed.

How to Acquire a Licence

Here are the steps for acquiring a licence to show a film on campus.

NOTE: For documentary films, first check whether the documentary has its own website. Many documentary films have their own website where you can purchase a licence or request permission to show the film. If there is no website for the documentary, or for its producer(s)/copyright holder(s), then proceed to the numbered steps below.

  1. Identify the agency that has the right to provide the licence to show the film. In Canada, the two agencies which can provide licences for showing most films are Audio Cine Films and Criterion Pictures.
  2. Search for the film that you would like to show at https://acf-film.com/en/index.php and http://www.criterionpic.com/cpl/qsearch.htx.
    • NOTE: If you do not find the film on the Audio Cine or Criterion websites, then there should be someone to contact at the film production company to request written permission or a licence to show the film. For assistance with this, please contact the Copyright Coordinator.
  3. To acquire an estimated cost for showing a film through Criterion Pictures:
    • Open the Criterion quote request form at http://media2.criterionpic.com/cpl/LCL_QUOTE_REQ.HTX.
    • Fill in as much information as you can about the showing and submit the form using the green "Submit" button at the bottom of the form. Criterion will get back to you with a price for the showing.
  4. To acquire an estimated cost for showing a film through Audio Cine Films:
    • Open the Audio Cine qoute request form at https://acf-film.com/en/form_quote.php.
    • Fill in as much information as you about the showing and submit the form using the grey "Submit" button at the bottom of the form. Audio Cine will get back to you with a price for the showing.

Additional Tips

  • Start early! Allow for ample time for the agency/production company to get back to you, time to follow up with them if need be and time for the possibility that you may have to contact several people before finding the person who can help you (e.g., the right film production representative).
  • Criterion/Audio Cine will likely also be able to send you a copy of the film for the showing, if you need.
  • If contacting the film producer directly, there is certain information that would be useful to provide them with to speed up the process of getting the licence. This information includes, but is not limited to:
    • the institution you are from (e.g., the University of Saskatchewan);
    • some detail about the event that you would like the film showing to be a part of;
    • roughly how many people you expect to attend the showing;
    • when the showing will be;
    • whether attendees will be charged any money for attending the showing.

Films Available Openly Online

Videos and films that are legally available openly online might be permitted to be shown for a non-educational, non-classroom university event without acquiring a licence to show the film. Please consult the Copyright Coordinator if you have questions about whether a video/film that you found online can be played at an event.

Netflix and Paid YouTube Content

Films available through Netflix and other password-protected online streaming services may not be shown for a non-educational, non-classroom university event without acquiring a licence to show the film.

Films can now be purchased or rented through YouTube. However, YouTube’s terms of use for these paid services prohibits any public showing of films that are purchased or rented through them. Thus, permission would be required for showing the paid YouTube versions of a film for a campus event.

For more information, please contact the Copyright Coordinator

Getting Help

If you have any questions or concerns about copyright, please let us know!

Kate Langrell
Copyright Coordinator
122.13 Murray Library

Note: The information obtained from or through this site does not constitute legal advice.

 

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