Viewing of Copyrighted Media
By Law, as well as by intent, the pre-recorded videocassettes and DVD’s which are available in stores throughout the United States are for home use only, unless you have a license to show them elsewhere. Rentals or purchases of the home videocassettes and DVD’s do not carry with them licenses for non-home showings. You must have a separate license that specifically authorizes them for non-home viewing before you can legally engage in non-home showings as described in the Federal Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17 of the United States Code.
- Section 106: The Copyright Act grants to the copyright owner the exclusive right, among others, “To perform the copyrighted work publicly.”
- Section 101: Home videocassettes/DVD’s may be shown without a license, in the home of “a normal circle of family and its social acquaintances” because such showings are not “public.”
- Sections 110.l: Home videocassettes and DVD’s may be shown, without a license, in certain narrowly defined “face-to-face teaching activities.”
Return to Guidelines