This page will provide you with definitions related to copyright, public performances, and library and user agreements.
A performance means to “recite, render, play, dance, act, either directly or by means of any device or process, or in the case of a motion picture, to show its images in any sequence, or to make the sounds accompanying it audible” (17 U.S. Code Section 101 - Definitions). Here are some examples of a performance:
- Film showing
- Performance of a play
- Musical performance
- Music recording playing in the background
Public is defined in two ways:
- Public place clause:
- A place open to the public;
- Or where a substantial number of people, outside of a normal circle of a family or social acquaintances, have gathered.
- Transmit clause: transmitting or communicating the performance:
- To a public place;
- Or to the public via a device or process, such as via the radio or the Internet.
Examples of public performances:
- A film showing at a community/public location, such as at a library or an auditorium
- A musical performance at a restaurant, bar, or venue
- Music played on overhead speakers at a restaurant or bar
Examples of transmissions of public performances:
- Broadcast television
- Similar to radio stations, broadcast television networks negotiate licenses to publicly broadcast films, TV programs, and so forth to the public.
- Streamed television online (e.g., Netflix, Hulu)
- Streaming services negotiate license agreements to stream content to their subscribers.
- A motion picture or other audiovisual work uploaded on a public website, such as YouTube