Showing a Film or TV Show?

In compliance with the Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code) regarding film and video piracy, anyone requesting to show a film or view other copyrighted materials (i.e. movies or TV shows via DVD, Netflix, personal property, checked out from a library, etc.) on the University of Iowa campus must obtain the appropriate Public Performance License providing permission to show copyrighted materials in public settings. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a DVD or online streaming service carries the right to show the material outside the home.

Obtaining permission can be done one of two ways:

  1. Contact the company directly who owns the movie rights. This is a popular option for independent films and documentary films.
  2. Contact SWANK Motion Pictures. You can call Dana Hilyer at 1-800-876-5577 or email her at Dana will ask you a few preliminary questions such as projected audience size and ticket cost if charging. Movie and TV shows can range from $50-$1,000.  You can pay by credit card over the phone for the movie rights. She will send you a copy of your receipt and tell you how to obtain the movie/show (sent in mail, rented, or downloaded online).

In both cases, the company will send you a copy of the rights to display the materials.

**Failure to obtain the copy rights is breaking Federal Law, and may result in disciplinary action against your student organization.**

If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership by email ( or phone (319-335-3059).

Category: Event Planning

Tagged: Event Planning

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