Copyright Policy & Public Performance Rights

Copyright Policy

Copying, displaying, and distributing copyrighted works may infringe the owner's copyright. The University of Texas System's policy statement on Use of Copyrighted Materials can help you determine whether your use of a copyrighted work may be an infringement. Any use of computer or duplication facilities by students, faculty, or staff for infringing use of copyrighted works is subject to appropriate disciplinary action as well as those civil remedies and criminal penalties provided by federal law.

Copyright law applies to the internet, which contains a mixture of copyrighted and non-copyrighted materials. An item does not have to display a statement of copyright to be copyrighted. It is assumed that an item is copyrighted until otherwise determined. For more information, see  Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines at UTSA and the UT System Office of General Counsel intellectual property website.

Public Performance Rights

Are you planning to show a film at a film festival, education program, or other event outside the classroom? If so, you may need to obtain public performance rights (PPR). PPR allow a copyright holder to control when a work is performed publicly.  If you want to host a public performance of a film or other media, you must purchase PPR from the copyright holder, distributor, or rights-management service. Individuals and organizations holding the event are responsible for obtaining PPR for all publicly screened media.

PPR are not required for:

  • Home viewing
  • Screening in a face-to-face classroom as part of the regular curriculum

PPR are required for:

  • Film series
  • Student club events
  • Extracurricular sponsored events, such as a lecture series
  • Online teaching environments

Since PPR for films and other media are not necessary when using media in teaching, UTSA Libraries in general does not acquire PPR. Sometimes, however, the Libraries will have PPR for some media. For example, the Libraries would have PPR for a film if the PPR happens to be included in the purchase price. Contact your department’s subject librarian to inquire about the Libraries’ media and PPR holdings.

More Information about Copyright and PPR

If you have questions about copyright and PPR, reach out to your subject librarian or email