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Copyright: Other (non-educational) uses of copyright-protected material

How to legally use music and video content at University events for staff, students, and the general public.

Film/movie nights or screening films and videos in public

As a staff member or student, if you want to play or screen a film other than in the course of educational instruction (for example, at a film night), you need to obtain a licence from the film’s non-theatric distributor.

However, some restrictions apply.

  • For example, if your film screening event is intended to be profit-making, the licence may not apply.
  • If your institution does not have any existing licences with APRA or you are not sure whether your institution’s APRA licence will cover your film screening event, contact APRA|AMCOS to determine your licensing options.

Getting permission

If you want to publicly screen a film, DVD or video in a situation not covered by the special exception for classroom screenings – for example, at a film night fundraiser run by a school – you will need permission from the relevant copyright owners.

Generally, you can get permission by renting, buying or borrowing the film, DVD or video from an authorised supplier that can give you permission on behalf of copyright owners. Some of these include:

  • National Film and Sound Archive
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Commercial organisations such as Roadshow PPL, Amalgamated Movies and Showbiz Music Video (for video clips)
    • Roadshow Public Performance Licensing (PPL) handles most commercially and independently produced films, including films from Warner, Paramount, Universal and 20th Century Fox (but not Sony or Columbia Tri-Star).
    • If Roadshow does not handle the film you are interested in, Amalgamated Movies Non-Theatrical Film Distributors may handle the rights. Amalgamated Movies handles the rights for Columbia/Tri-Star, Sony and Madman Entertainment.

Reference: Australian Copyright Council. 
Information Sheet: Films, DVDs & Videos: Screening in Public. Retrieved from http://