Fair Use for video and broadcast and The Face-to-face Teaching Exemption
[This explanation originates with Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. and is reproduced here with permission.]

The Face-to-face Teaching Exemption

Section 110 of the 1984 Copyright Act provides a specific exemption to the licensing of what is clearly a public performance, otherwise known as "face-to-face teaching."

  • To qualify for the exemption, the showing must occur in a face-to-face teaching situation at a nonprofit education institution and meet the following seven criteria:
  • Performances and displays of audiovisual work must be made from legitimate copies (not copies of legitimate copies nor copies from broadcasts)
  • Performances and displays must be a part of a systematic course of instruction and not for entertainment, recreation or cultural value of any part of the audience.
  • The instructor should be able to show how use of the motion picture contributes to the overall course study and syllabus.
  • The course does not have to be a credit course, but must be recognized by the university and one for which people must register.


 Students and instructors can play lawfully made video materials in a nonprofit educational setting when the purpose is educational.

  • Performance and displays must be given in classrooms and other spaces devoted to instruction. Library screening rooms, residence hall lounges, and cafeterias do not qualify.
  • Performance and displays must be part of the teaching activities of the nonprofit educational institution. Businesses that conduct educational seminars and some technical schools do not qualify.
  • Attendance is limited to instructors, students and guest lecturers. Only people registered for the class can attend the screening, and no fee specific to the showing can be charged.

Fair Use for faculty
Fair Use for nonfaculty
Fair Use for Copy Centers and printed materials
Fair Use for electronic reserves
Fair Use for software
Fair Use for digital media and music materials
Streaming of films for educational purposes
Training opportunities
Additional resources


For more information, contact your college/unit copyright compliance officer:

Mary Carr, SCC, 509.533.7045 
Mary Ann Lund Goodwin, SFCC, 533.3820 
Anne Tucker, District Administration, 509.434.5109 
Rebecca Rhodes, IEL, 509.279.6050