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Theater

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, no. Licenses are valid for a specific, designated time frame. However, Swank can tailor this license to fit your needs.  

The rental, purchase, lending or download of a movie does not provide the right to exhibit it publicly outside the home unless the screening is properly licensed.

Motion picture companies can and will go to court to ensure their copyrights are not violated. Those convicted could face embarrassing publicity, up to five years in prison and fines ranging up to $250,000.

Movies that are rented through the University library, public library, personal collections, or are secured illegally are not eligible to be shown for a public performance, unless proper rights are secured.

  • Some movies listed on Netflix are eligible to be shown for a public performance without needing to purchase the rights.
  • Once on Netflix, click on the “Only on Netflix” tab.
  • Films on this list that have the caption “Grant of Permission for Educational Screenings” in the description are eligible for one time showings.
  • The person/group showing the film must have a subscription to Netflix, and be showing the film through their account.

Securing Film Rights

The University has a contract with Swank to show films listed under the “College Campus” section. If you find a film via Swank that you would like to show, contact the Operations Coordinator of the Popp Martin Student Union, who will then assist you with securing the rights.

If you do not find a film listed on Swank’s website, you will need to work through a third party to purchase and secure rights. Once you have purchased the rights, this information must be sent to the Operations Coordinator proving that you have the rights for a public performance for the date requested.

Resources for securing movie rights include: Criterion, IMDB, Journey Films, Magnolia Pictures, Music Box Films, New Yorker, Universal, Warner Brothers, and more.

All spaces on campus require film rights to be secured for a public performance. If the film is to be shown within the Popp Martin Student Union or the Cone University Center, the group must provide proper documentation to the Operations Coordinator for the Student Union, no later than 2 weeks prior to the screening. The Popp Martin Student Union and Cone Center have the right to cancel events if they do not comply with copyright law.

Faculty, Staff, and student organizations that are planning on showing a film on campus, whether open to the community, or closed for a group, need to secure rights.

Under the “Education Exemption,” copyrighted movies may be exhibited in a college without a license only if the movie exhibition is:

  • An “integral part of a class session” and is of “material assistance to the teaching content.”
  • Supervised by a teacher in a classroom, including the theater.
  • Attended only by students enrolled in a registered class of an accredited nonprofit educational institution
  • Lawfully made using a movie that has been legally produced and obtained through rental or purchase.