Films in School: Copyright Compliance Reminder

FBI LogoWe recently hosted a regional meeting held by Martha Alewine, the SDE Consultant for School Library Media Services.

Meeting subject: Copyright Compliance.

Take home message: Many schools unknowingly violate copyright laws by allowing movies to be shown on school property.

When, how and where we legally may show ‘Hollywood’ movies can be plainly stated because it is quite limited:

A legitimate copy of a film can be shown by a teacher in his or her classroom for the purpose of core curriculum instruction.

That is it. Any presentation of Hollywood movies on school property by anyone else in any other circumstances for any other reason probably violates a raft of copyright laws that come with harsh punishments.

(The above description is my paraphrase of information gleaned from yesterday’s meeting.)

For more information or questions, please see a local expert: your school media specialist.

Or, here is a post on Martha Alewine’s blog that provides a one-stop shopping point for all matters concerning this and other copyright issues as they pertain to K-12 educators: Copyright & Plagiarism

Schools can purchase a ‘Public Performance Site License’ to show films legally. For more information, please see the Movie Licensing USA web site.