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Movie Screenings

Required Licensing Fee

If your student organization will be showing a movie at your event or meeting, then payment of a licensing fee is required by federal law. Consult with your advisor in the Center for Student Involvement to obtain a fee quote and pay the fee if one is required.

Education Exemption

Note: This information is adapted from a brochure titled "Film & Video Copyright Infringement" published by Swank Motion Pictures.

Under the “Education Exemption,” copyrighted movies may be exhibited in a college without a license only if the movie exhibition is:

  • An “integral part of a class session” and is of “material assistance to the teaching content.”
  • Supervised by a teacher in a classroom.
  • Attended only by students enrolled in a registered class of an accredited non-profit educational institution.
  • Lawfully made using a movie that has been legally produced and obtained through rental or purchase.

What If I Own the Movie

The licensing fee is still required even if you personally own the movie (i.e. DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix, etc). In fact, you would need to not only pay for the licensing fee but also use the DVD or Blu-ray disc sent to you by the distribution company. You cannot use your own copy of the movie.

Licensing Fee

Your student organization would be responsible for paying the licensing fee. This fee can range from less than $100 to upwards of $800 or more depending on a variety of factors such as how many people you expect to watch, whether you plan to charge an admission fee, and how many times the movie will be shown.

For More Information

Check out the following resources to learn more about movie screenings and licensing rights.