Film Performance Licenses
Public Performance Licenses
The public display of audio/visual materials on campus falls under the Copyright Act of Canada. The Dalhousie Libraries and various academic departments own collections of films in VHS and DVD format. Individuals are welcome to borrow these and view them privately. However, in order to legally screen a film in a public venue or classroom in front of an audience, you must ensure that public performance rights have been acquired. This applies to films owned by the Libraries or a university department, or acquired by other means.
To avoid the laborious and time-consuming process of seeking performance rights on an individual title basis, the Dalhousie Libraries and the Copyright Office have arranged public performance licenses with Criterion Pictures and Audio Cine Films, Inc. (ACF). These licenses provide clearance for any of the thousands of feature films covered by these organizations to be screened on the Dalhousie campus without the need to seek permission for individual titles. Both companies maintain large film repertoires and are always adding new titles.
In addition, the Library has subscribed to the National Film Board's Screening Room service. Under this agreement, any film available as streaming video from the NFB website can be screened in the classroom or before a group.
Under these licenses, the Copyright Office is required to report to ACF and Criterion regarding films from their repertoires that are screened on the Dalhousie campus.
If you plan to screen films in the classroom, or in another venue on campus, please be prepared to send a list of titles to the Copyright Office. To determine which company holds the rights to your film(s), search the ACF and Criterion Pictures databases.
Send a list of the films for each license, class number, date and instructor's name to email@example.com.
Films Falling Outside ACF & Criterion Licenses
Inevitably, films will fall outside these two blanket licenses. In some cases public performance rights will have been included in the price of purchase. In other cases it will not be obvious if these rights have been acquired or not. Generally, a film purchased from a commercial vendor like Amazon or leased from a commercial rental service will not have public performance rights attached. Films purchased directly from a distributor or from a vendor that frequently deals with educational institutions (NFB, PBS) are more likely to come with performance rights, and the price will reflect this.
If your film is not covered by the ACF or Criterion licenses and you are unsure whether or not public performance is allowed, please email all pertinent information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Room Booking and Film Performance Rights
Before being permitted to book space on the Dalhousie campus for the purpose of screening a film, individuals and groups (such as student societies) must ensure and be able to demonstrate that public performance rights have been acquired.
Check the ACF or Criterion databases to determine which company licenses the work. If the film does not appear in either of these databases, the Copyright Office will be able to help. Please gather as much information about the film as you can before contacting us at email@example.com.
In cases where performance rights are held by an independent agency, production company or distributor, it will be necessary to contact them and request permission to screen the film. It may be necessary as well to pay a fee for one-time screening rights.
Once you have been cleared by the Copyright Office to screen your film, please fill out the Online Room Bookings Form, email the Event Booking office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone them at 494-1051 to request your space.