Sunday, January 21, 2018

Public Performance Rights – What Are They And How Can They Help Your Video Sales?

One way to significantly increase the price and value of your video is to add Public Performance Rights (PPR). These are rights that allow a person or organization to legally show your video to a general gathering, possibly even charging admission. By law, you can’t buy a DVD in a retail store for $9.95 that only has home use rights and then show it in an auditorium and charge admission. You have to have PPR to do that.

Unless videos are sold or rented with public performance rights they should be considered “home use only” and should be restricted to private showings in the home to a “normal circle of a family and social acquaintances.” In other words, it’s okay to show at a home party but not to an paying audience.

According to the U.S. copyright law (Title 17, United States Code, Section 110), a public performance is any screening of a videocassette, DVD, videodisc or film which occurs outside of the home, or at any place where people are gathered who are not family members, such as in a school, library, auditorium, classroom or meeting room. You can authorize the rights to show your video as a public performance. You would also want to charge more for these rights.

The only exception to this rule is the face-to-face teaching exemption that allows instructors to show videos in a classroom as long as the activity is a teaching activity and not recreation or entertainment. This exemption is also covered in Section 110 (1) of the U.S. Copyright Law. If they are showing the video outside of their curriculum for entertainment, such as during a rainy day or for a treat then it is not allowed and the PPR rights should be purchased.

It’s impossible to enforce this, but we put FBI warnings on all of our videos and PPR versions say so on the packaging. On the home use videos we state that the video is for Home Use Only and not for viewing by a general audience.

On our videos with PPR we raise the price to $75 or $95. Libraries and schools respect this and order the correct version. Most organizations will understand this distinction when you explain it to them.

By granting the rights to show your video in a public venue you are increasing the value and justifying the higher price.


2 Responses to “Public Performance Rights – What Are They And How Can They Help Your Video Sales?”
  1. Fascinating subject – not sure how this rule applies to UK but I’m definitely going to look into it.

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks for that clear and concise explanation.


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