Answered By: Rebecca Mackle
Last Updated: Feb 03, 2016     Views: 1151

Universities can play or show a film for the 'purpose of instruction' before an audience of teachers and pupils at an educational establishment and of other persons directly connected with the activities of the establishment.

However the showing of films as part of a society or club’s programme of events is unlikely to be considered as being for the ‘purposes of instruction’. 

Appropriate permission from the copyright owner of the work is therefore required; this is usually obtained via a licence from the relevant licensing organisation.

There are generally two types of licence available in relation to playing, showing or performance of movies in public in the non-theatrical market.  The 'non-theatrical market' includes schools, film societies, student unions, college and universities, and libraries.

The two licences are: 

• an umbrella (annual screening) licence and
• a title-by-title licence

In addition, where a film is shown with the musical soundtrack a PRS licence may be needed.

The type of licence required by a university film club will basically depend on two things:

• the nature of the audience admitted to screenings and
• whether or not there is a charge for admission.

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