Wilson Commons Student Activities

Event Planning

Film and Video Copyright

Copyright Law

The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be used. Any public showing of any format (VHS, DVD) requires the permission of the rights holder unless it meets the strict requirements of the “face to face teaching exemption.” The “home use” videos and DVDs obtained from Blockbuster, Netflix, retailers, and the Multimedia Center are not intended to be used for public performances. If you are planning a film program on campus you should arrange for public performance rights, even if you are not charging an admission fee.

Who to Contact

The expert on these matters is the UR Multimedia Center. MMC staff can be reached in the UR Multimedia Center on the ground floor of Rush Rhees Library, 275-3009, or via email at mmclib@library.rochester.edu. Please consult your group’s advisor to ensure compliance when planning a film program on campus.

Your Options

In order to show a film on campus legally you must do one of the following:

Gleason Theater

The Gleason Theater, located in The Gleason Library in Rush Rhees, seats up to 30 and was established as a space where student groups can conduct film and visual-presentation based programs. Use of the theater is limited to the University of Rochester community only. Reservation requests for events that are open to the public will not be honored.

Reserving the Gleason Theater: