Under the Copyright Act of Canada, any film screened in a public place must have public performance rights (PPR). Classrooms, meeting rooms, lounges, etc., are public places.

All documentary films purchased by the Cardinal Carter Library include educational public performance rights (PPR) and may be shown in public places at King’s University College and the University of Western Ontario. Use the Instructional Film Request form to book a documentary or feature film from the library collection.

The Library also has public performance rights for the educational use and display of online streaming video collections, including those of the National Film Board of Canada, CBC Documentaries, CBC Archives and Alexander Street Press’ Counseling and Therapy in Video.

Commercial feature films typically do not come with PPR but Western (including King’s) has site license agreements with two major film distributing and licensing agencies which allow the screening for educational purposes of legally acquired personal copies, loans from libraries, or rented films in classrooms on the Western and affiliate university college campuses. This does not include television shows. To verify that a feature film is covered by a site license check for the inclusion of its studio in the lists of Audio Ciné Films’ Partner Studios or Criterion Pictures’ Studios/Producers. The screening of all films covered by these licenses must be reported to the library.

If the studio, producer, or film title does not appear on either site, it will be necessary for you to contact the studio/producer for permission to screen the film.

To recommend the purchase of a film for the library collection, please contact your subject librarian.

To borrow a film from Western Libraries or another institution to show in class, please consult Western Libraries’ ILL/Media Booking guide.

You may copy and play a television news program in class under the Copyright Act, provided it is done within a year of the program being aired. However, documentaries and films are not covered by this exception. Live broadcasts may be played in the classroom to an audience of primarily students without permission.

Before showing a video from a website such as YouTube, you need to verify that it is permissible to show it in the classroom. See YouTube's Educator Resources website or the video's "Terms of Use" for more information. Alternatively, you may provide students with a link to the video and recommend they view it independently.

The Copyright Act applies even if ...

  • Films are rented, purchased or personally owned;
  • Films are only partially shown, e.g. just "clips";
  • Films are shown within a non-profit, educational context;
  • Films are shown to small groups.

Individuals may be held accountable when the Copyright Act is violated: you and/or the College may be subject to substantial civil and criminal penalties, which can include hefty fines, imprisonment or both.

Please contact Linda Whidden, Associate Librarian & Head: Technical and Information Resources, for further information.