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Copyright: Copyright F.A.Q.
WCC Home: Copyright Guide: Copyright F.A.Q.
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Copyright Guide:


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Frequently Asked Questions»





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Copyright: Frequently Asked Questions

Can the college show a film in a public area at no cost to its students?
Answer: Yes, if you request permission to show the film in public. Review guidelines below to fall under Fair Use:
  • the audiovisual, the DVD or Video, must be a lawfully made copy

  • the class has to be part of the systematic instruction, meaning that students are taking the class for credit toward a degree

  • the educational institution must be nonprofit (Washtenaw Community College is nonprofit)

  • the content of the video shown must relate to the content of the class being taught (i.e., no showing videos to class just for fun)

  • only students in the class, instructors, and guest instructors may be present to watch the videos

  • the video is shown face-to-face, not broadcast (although there are also some exceptions for broadcasting portions of videos under the TEACH Act)

WCC's Library makes every effort to purchase videos/DVDs with public performance rights. This is done on a title by title basis. There are hundreds of media vendors and not all vendors provide the option to purchase a new title with public performance rights. PBS is one exemption that allows educational institutions to show their audiovisual materials to the public.

Source: Copyright Law Section 110





  1. Can I tape a program on television and show it to my class?

  2. Can an instructor rent a video/DVD from a local rental store to show it in class?

  3. Can an instructor make an archival copy of his/her commercial video/DVD/slide/audio cassette?

  4. Can an instructor make a duplicate copy of a video/DVD from the Library's collection to show in class?

  5. Can an instructor copy clips from various videos to one compilation video that s/he can use in the classroom?

  6. Can an instructor show a film to his/her student group on campus?

  7. Can the college show a film in a public area at no cost to its students?

  8. Can an instructor convert his/her video to DVD to show to an on-campus class?

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