Film Showing and Copyright Permission Request Form

Please complete the form below in full no later than one week prior to your event.

All films—movies, documentaries, etc.—are protected by copyright law, and you must comply with the law when you use them. Copyright law governs not only whether you may copy a film, but also whether and under what conditions it may be used.

The law distinguishes between private and public showings.

A private showing is one in which you invite only a small circle of friends and watch the film in your residence hall or other living space.

A public showing is one in which you invite more than a small circle of friends—for example, you might invite members of a particular department, club, or everyone on campus. The law divides public showings into two further categories:

  • If the purpose is primarily educational, you may show the film without getting permission from the copyright owner, as long as 1) you do not charge an admission fee, 2) organizers are not paid, and 3) the copy of the film you are using was lawfully made and legally obtained.
  • If the purpose is primarily entertainment, you must get permission from the copyright owner before showing the film (unless the college already has public performance rights for that film). 

Please note: 

  • Inviting a professor to lead a discussion before or after a film showing does not automatically turn entertainment into education. 
  • If copyright permission is necessary, you may need to pay a fee. 
  • Please plan well ahead to allow sufficient time for the permission process.
  • Do not advertise your film showing until you’ve been given approval.

Full information about the college’s copyright guidance is available at

(If your film showing situation does not comply, you may still be able to show the film if you obtain permission from the copyright holder. We can help you do this. Send email to