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Use of Films in the Classroom 

Under the Copyright Act of Canada, any film used in a public place must have Public Performance Rights (PPR). Classrooms, student lounges, etc. are considered public places.
Films, videos, and DVDs in the Seminary Library collection are purchased with public performance rights, which allows them to be shown in the classroom. The Library also has public performance rights for the educational use and display of online streaming video collections, including those of the National Film Board of Canada, CBC Documentaries, CBC Archives and Alexander Street Press’ Counseling and Therapy in Video.

In some instances where public performance rights are not secured, the titles are clearly marked as “Home/Individual use only", and may not be shown in a group setting or classroom. Videos and DVD's produced by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops have Public Performance Rights. 

As commercial feature films and DVDs typically do not come with PPR, they need to be covered by an annual site licence with one of the two major Canadian distributors of feature films, Criterion Pictures and Audio Cine Films, Inc. This does not include television shows.  The studios or producers whose work is covered by the site licences can be found by following the foregoing links. If the video is produced by a studio covered by the site licence, it may be shown legally on Seminary property, however, the screening must be reported to the library. The videos/DVDs must be legal copies and can be rented, purchased, borrowed or personal copies.
If the studio, producer, or film title does not appear on either side, it will be necessary for you to contact the studio/producer for permission to screen the film.
You may copy and play a television news program in class under the Copyright Act, provided it is done within a year of the program being aired.  However, documentaries and films are not covered by this exception.  Live broadcasts may be played in the classroom to an audience of primarily students without permission.
Before showing a video from a website such as YouTube, you need to verify that it is permissible to show it in the classroom.  See YouTube's Educator Resources website or the video's "Terms of Use" for more information.  Alternatively, you may provide students with a link to the video and recommend they view it independently.

The Copyright Act applies even if ...
  • Films are rented, purchased or personally owned;
  • Films are only partially shown, e.g. just "clips";
  • Films are shown within a non-profit, educational context;
  • Films are shown to small groups.

Individuals may be held accountable when the Copyright Act is violated: you and/or the Seminary may be subject to substantial civil and criminal penalties, which can include hefty fines, imprisonment or both.