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Copyright at Bishop's University: Public Performance Rights

A guide for faculty, staff, and students

Sound Recordings in the Classroom

Under the educational exceptions of the Copyright Act (Section 29.5) sound recordings may now be played on the premises of an education institution "for educational or training purposes and not for profit, before an audience consisting primarily of students of the educational institution."


 It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution or a person acting under its authority to do the following acts if they are done on the premises of an educational institution for educational or training purposes and not for profit, before an audience consisting primarily of students of the educational institution, instructors acting under the authority of the educational institution or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for the educational institution:

(a) the live performance in public, primarily by students of the educational institution, of a work;

(b) the performance in public of a sound recording, or of a work or performer’s performance that is embodied in a sound recording, as long as the sound recording is not an infringing copy or the person responsible for the performance has no reasonable grounds to believe that it is an infringing copy;

(c) the performance in public of a work or other subject-matter at the time of its communication to the public by telecommunication; and

(d) the performance in public of a cinematographic work, as long as the work is not an infringing copy or the person responsible for the performance has no reasonable grounds to believe that it is an infringing copy.


If the public performance falls outside the educational exceptions listed above, fair dealing provisions may apply. For more information on how Fair Dealing may apply to Sound Recordings, please refer to guideline #8 in the AUCC Fair Dealing Guidelines.

Videos in the Classroom

Faculty may now (with certain exceptions) show movies in the classroom without acquiring any further rights/licenses. Public Performance Rights (PPR) are no longer required, as long as:

  • you have obtained a legal copy,
  • the movie is shown only to students who are actually registered in the course,
  • the movie is shown during regular classroom hours,
  • the movie is directly related to the course curriculum.

Movies acquired from subscription-based streaming services (such as Netflix) or with digital locks (such as iTunes) CANNOT be shown in the classroom. 

If you do require PPR, please contact the Office of the University Librarian.

YouTube Videos in the Classroom

Showing YouTube videos in class is permitted, as long as the copyright holder of the video is the person who uploaded the video to YouTube.

Watch this helpful video from the Seneca College Library for more information.

Copyright Contact

Videos in a Public Setting (not for academic purposes)

According to the Canadian Copyright Act, commercially available movies that are shown on campus in a public setting (i.e. not for academic, classroom purposes) must be properly licensed with a rights representative. Please contact the Office of the University Librarian (819-822-9600 x2280) to discuss obtaining the proper performance rights for your movie showing.