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Streaming FAQ

Streaming Video with UCF Libraries: Frequently Asked Questions and Best Practices

UCF Libraries licenses a variety of streaming video options to support research and teaching through platforms such as Alexander Street Press, Feature Films for Education, Films on Demand, Kanopy, and Swank. Faculty and students may also utilize streaming video outside of UCF Libraries for teaching & learning purposes. This guide will provide general information and best practices for streaming video for both face-to-face and online teaching. If you are looking for information about a specific UCF Libraries licensed streaming video platform, visit our Streaming Video Options guide for information on how to search or request videos, as well as how to provide permalinks or embed videos into your webcourse. 

If you have questions about streaming videos that are not answered in this guide, please reach out to your subject librarian. A full list of our subject librarians and the areas they cover are available on our Your Librarian page.

What are Public Performance Rights (PPR)?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film or video. These rights are often managed by media producers or distributors, and in some cases, PPR is included in the purchase price of a film or video. In other cases, a separate license is required in order to obtain PPR. 

The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the US Code) requires PPR for public viewing of copyrighted media when it falls outside of the curriculum of a class -- even if you do not charge an admission fee. In this section, we will explore why PPR is important and when you might need to ensure PPR have been obtained when showing a film or video. 

For more about Public Performance Rights at UCF, the Office of General Counsel's Copyright Guide for Exhibiting Movies document has additional information and guidance. 

When Do I Need Public Performance Rights (PPR)?

PPR is needed for screenings outside of a curriculum. They are NOT needed for:

  • Showings of films in face-to-face class, regardless of format
  • Films you assigned your students to watch outside of class

PPR is needed for:

  • Screening a film for people (even UCF students) as a special event outside of class, like a seminar at the library or special event

The following chart can aid in determining if you need PPR for a specific use on campus or not. 

Logic tree called So You Are Showing a Movie on Campus

Why are Public Performance Rights (PPR) important?

Screening unlicensed films and videos, whether they are borrowed from UCF Libraries, rented, purchased, or streamed to groups, outside of the classroom may be illegal and place the person who screened the film or video, UCF Libraries, and/or the University at legal risk. With this in mind, it is important to be aware of PPR and the circumstances in which you might need to obtain them. 

Which streaming video services used by UCF Libraries have Public Performance Rights (PPR)?

UCF Libraries aims to include PPR for streaming video purchases, but they are not always included due to the high price often associated with paying for Public Performance Rights. In some cases, they may have been automatically included in the purchase price or be included with the streaming video platform license.

The following outlines PPR for the different platforms licensed through UCF. 

  • Alexander Street Press - Most films include PPR. Contact your subject librarian to confirm.
  • Feature Films for Education - All films include PPR.
  • Films OnDemand - All films include PPR. 
  • Kanopy - Some films may have PPR. When viewing a film title it will have an icon next to the year and run time that says PPR.
    • ex. Example of PPR icon in UCF Kanopy. Release year - run time - PPR - CC - rating
  • Swank Digital Campus - PPR not included. Videos intended for in course use only.

The library does not have funding to purchase PPR, and only provides PPR for films where those rights were included in the purchase.


If you have any questions about Public Performance Rights, including if PPR is needed for a specific use or to see if a UCF Libraries' streaming video includes PPR, please contact your subject librarian. A full list of our subject librarians and the areas they cover are available on our Your Librarian page.