Movie Public Performance Copyright
Compliance Site License
public libraries are covered by a statewide blanket license between the
Nebraska Library Commission and Movie Licensing USA, Inc. for public viewing of
motion pictures shown inside the library building. With this license, motion pictures may be shown as part of
various library services and programming at the library. Note: The Nebraska
Library Commission has recently renewed the license for another year. All
public libraries are currently covered through September 30, 2015.
For more information about the license, contact
Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, 402-471-4003, 800-307-2665, fax: 402-471-2083
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. If the library owns the videocassettes
do we need a license to show them?
Yes, it is necessary for the library to have a license, regardless of who
owns the video. Whether it is part of the library collection, someone's
personal collection, or rented from a video business, if the film is included in
the database it is legal to show in the library. (See question five below for
information about the database.)
Q. We do not charge admission. Do we need
Yes, the Federal Copyright Act states that regardless of whether an
admission fee is charged, a license is required. In fact, this license only
applies to showings where no admission fee is charged. You are allowed to
provide people the opportunity to give free-will donations, and you may sell food
such as popcorn and soda at the event, if you choose.
Q. We would like to show videos to our
library cardholders as well as other members of the public? Do we need a
Yes, libraries are required to have a public performance license to
show videos to library cardholders at the library as well as to other members of the
Q. We would like to publicize the
performance. What methods are acceptable?
Announcements of video showings in library newsletters, bookmarks,
bulletin boards, etc. where the recipients are likely to be library cardholders
and staff are allowable. In these cases it is permitted to list the title of
the motion picture. However, use of public media (TV, radio, newspapers,
posters outside of the library, or pages on the Internet, including social media) to
advertise specific titles is prohibited.
Q. Does a Movie Public Performance Site
license cover all videocassettes and DVDs?
No, some videos, such as educational and special interest titles,
are purchased with public performance rights. Certain videos of motion
pictures in the public domain do not require a license. Some motion picture DVDs or
videocassettes are not covered by the license.
To learn if a particular title is covered by the license, go to:
http://www.movlic.com/ click on "Public Libraries"
and enter the movie title in the space labeled "movie search" at the top of the page. The title
and rating will appear if the motion picture is included in the license. If it
is not included, the screen will read: "No results found."
Q. If the movie I wish to show is not
covered by the Movie Public Performance Site license what can I do?
You may contact Swank
Motion Pictures, (800)876-5577, or another such company, and ask for the
cost to show the film one time only. They will let you know the amount, and you
can decide if your library has the funds to pay for a one-time license for that
This project was supported in part by the United States Institute of Museum
and Library Services, under the provision of the Library Services and
Technology Act, and/or state funding appropriated by the Nebraska
legislature, granted and administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.