Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Streaming Video @ The University of Alabama: Public Showings of Films

Important Public Showing Information


Showing films to groups of people requires that you obtain Public Performance Rights in most cases. You should be sure that you have the right to show a film to a group of people before doing so or you may be in violation of copyright law. Please see more information below. For help understanding more about a particular film you would like to show, you may contact the Electronic Resources team ( at the University Libraries for assistance.

Swank films

Please note that films from Swank do not have Public Performance Rights and cannot be shown in public viewings. Swank films can only be shown in a face-to-face classroom setting as a part of a regular curriculum. Otherwise, if the film you would like to show is part of Swank, please contact the University Libraries for alternative options.


1. Can I show a film for an event  being hosted on campus?

In order to show a film for a campus event, you must secure Public Performance Rights for the film. Not all films available through the University Libraries automatically provide Public Performance Rights. It order to make sure you are not in violation of copyright law, please make sure that you have secured a film with Public Performance Rights before showing at an event on campus.

2. Can I show a film in a class?

Yes. All films available through University Libraries can be shown in the classroom as a part of a regular course to registered students for curricular and educational purposes. Films can also be linked for individual viewing in Blackboard.

3. I am showing a film with Public Performance Rights at my event. Can I charge admission?

No. You may not charge admission to an event wherein you are showing a film from the library's collection regardless of whether you have secured PPR.

Public Performance Rights (PPR)

What are Public Performance Rights?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film. While copyright law makes an exception for showing films in the classroom, showing them for a public audience may be a violation of copyright law.

When are PPR needed?

PPR are required for:

  • Screenings open to the public
  • Screenings in a public space where access is not restricted to registered students in a course
  • Screenings for a class, but inviting others (non-registered students to the class) to attend
  • Some examples where PPR for showing a film is required:
    • As a part of a sorority or fraternity event
    • Public lectures
    • Campus Film Series
    • Extra-curricular events (Campus clubs or groups)

PPR are not required for:

  • Showing a film in the classroom (by students and instructors) as part of face-to-face teaching activities
  • Home viewing 

Do all of the films in the University Libraries include PPR?

No. Not all films from University Libraries collections provide Public Performance Rights. Please contact University Libraries for assistance determining whether a film in the collection has PPR.  

Kanopy films

Most films on Kanopy are available for non-classroom group settings (like student organization events) as long as the viewing is by UA students, faculty, and staff only and not for commercial benefit (i.e. no admission costs are charged and no profit is made from the screening). Whether a film is available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) is easy to discover on the Kanopy platform:

To find a PPR-enabled film in Kanopy:

  1. Perform a search in Kanopy
  2. In the search results, filter by "Public Performance Rights"
  3. Choose "PPR Available" 
  4. Go to the video page for the film
  5. Look for the PPR Icon in the description to see if the film has public performance rights