Movies in the Classroom

Copyright Info & Procedures for Teachers

Public Performance Site License Q&A

What constitutes "public performance" of an entertainment movie?

Any showing of an entertainment movie outside the privacy of a home setting is considered a public performance (or public exhibition).


Aren't schools exempt from needing a license to legally use copyrighted movies?

Under the Educational Exemption, copyrighted entertainment movies may be shown in a school without copyright permission only if the following criteria are all met:


  • A teacher or instructor is present
  • The showing takes place in a classroom setting with only the enrolled students attending
  • The movie is used as an essential part of the core, required curriculum being taught. Movies are not covered by the Educational Exemption if they are being shown as a reward, on a rainy day, etc.
  • The movie being used is a legitimate copy - not duplicated from a legitimate copy, recorded from TV, or acquired via piracy


Are there limitations to our Public Performance Site License?

Yes! Our Public Performance Site License:


  • is for K-12 Schools only
  • does not permit entertainment movies to be used when an admission fee is charged (other than to cover costs)
  • does not allow outdoor showings
  • does not allow for movies to be altered, duplicated, or transmitted electronically in any form without specific permission from the copyright owner



Can I bring a movie from home and show it in my classroom?

You can secure movies from a variety of legal sources including:

  • video rental stores
  • our school library
  • your personal collection


I want to show a full movie to my class. What now?

Please fill out the Full Movie Permission Form

Once you have filled out the form, please email it to your assistant principal for final approval. Click here to download the form.

Questions about this or any other copyright issue?

Contact your campus librarian!