Skip to Main Content

Video/DVD Performance Rights

Provides information on performance rights for DVDs owned by McQuade Library.

DVD Performance Rights

McQuade Library has over 3000 videos in our collection, but the rights differ if showing a video to groups outside the classroom.  

Home Use Videos
Most feature films, including foreign language films, and television shows can be purchased for Home Use Only, meaning they can be viewed by individuals at home or in their dorm room, or to groups in the class with the instructor present (often referred to as a face-to-face showing) in a room used as a classroom during a time when classes regularly held. It cannot be advertised. Only Merrimack faculty and students can attend.  We are not licensed to show Home Use Videos to groups outside of a course situation.

If a department wishes to show a home use video outside the classroom, the department should obtain public performance rights, usually through an organization such as Swank, Criterion Pictures USA, Inc., Kino International, or Modern Sound Pictures, or directly from the producer (often linked at the film's web site).

Public Performance Rights
For documentaries and select feature films, McQuade Library will try to purchase DVDs with institutional or educational public performance rights. Generally this allows Merrimack to show films on campus to most groups without charge.  But the public performance rights may have restrictions, such as to no more than 50 people, or to the Merrimack community members only. Check the producers listed below to find out their restrictions.

Streaming DVDs
Most DVDs do not come with public performance rights to stream a video or show on closed circuit TV.  You should assume that streaming is not included unless it specifies that it is. 

If showing a DVD to any group outside the classroom:

  1. Determine if McQuade Library has performance rights for the DVD by checking the Library Catalog and/or on the DVD itself.
    DVDs with performace rights will have the following in their call number: "Merrimack Only with Performance Rights." 
    The DVDs will also have a sticker with similar language.
  2. Then, using this guide, check to see how the producer/distributor defines public performance rights.

If you have questions about public performance rights, contact Christine Coflan, Frances Nilsson or Kevin Salemme.

Streaming Videos
Most DVDs do not come with rights to stream a video or show on closed circuit TV.  You should assume that streaming is not included unless it specifies that it is.  However, the following streaming video services DO include public performance rights as long as no fee is charged and the showing is on campus.

Film Producers Included

Definitions for public performance rights are extracted in this guide for the following producer/distributors:

For questions or feedback contact the McQuade Library
Call us: 978-837-5177 | Text us:  978-228-2275 | Email us: