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Film Studies: Citing Film & Film Copyright

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Film Copyright

Here is some information for students and faculty showing films on campus:

In 2002, the United States Congress passed the TEACH Act to clarify some of the copyright issues created by the advent of digital media. While educators welcomed these clarifications, copyright and fair use remains a complicated part of academic life.

"Copyright law provides educators with a separate set of rights in addition to fair use, to display (show) and perform (show or play) others' works in the classroom. These rights are in Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act and apply to any work, regardless of the medium." - from the University of Texas Libraries' copyright guide

Learn more about the TEACH Act and showing films in the classroom in this American Library Association document.

"17 U.S.C. § 110(1) permits “the performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction....” It applies to showing of entire films, and also to those that involve less extensive clips from one or several sources.

This provision contains several noteworthy limitations. First, it applies only to face-to-face teaching activities, not distance education. The exceptions that apply to distance education are found in the TEACH Act, 17 U.S.C. § 110(2), and the fair use privilege, 17 U.S.C. § 107."

Citing Film

The field of film studies will use either MLA or Chicago style.  It is best to check with your professor to see which style is preferred.

See the following style guides for MLA and Chicago formats for more details about formatting papers, references, and citing sources.

Citing Film - Additional Guides