Theater Policy

Copyright Adherence and Infringement FAQ

Does my organization need to get permission to show a film in the theater, or anywhere else on campus?

A: Yes! If you do not acquire the “rights” to show a film (more than just short clips) on campus, you are engaging in copyright infringement, which is a serious offense. The University requires that you abide by federal, state, and local law, which includes making sure you have permission to show a film on campus.


How do I get permission to show a film?

A: Start by making your space reservation with the CRES office. CRES will then forward your pending reservation to Emily Schnier for review. At this point, Gillian will let you know the availability and cost of acquiring the rights to show your film. If our film licensing company does not handle the rights for your film, you can contact the distribution company for the film by checking the IMDB site. Your organization will need to provide written proof of invoicing or permission to show the film at least three days prior to the film screening.


How much does it cost to get a film license?

A: This depends on the film and the context in which you are showing it. In most cases when student organizations are showing a film on campus, you will have to pay the cost of the license, which is anywhere between $300-$900.  However, there are many factors that go into cost, including if you need the film sent to you, how often you show it, if you are charging to show the film, and how many people will attend the event. Emily Schnier, Operations Coordinator for the Popp Martin Student Union, will get an estimate for your organization if you email her the title of the film, or help you find other resources to get permission if the University’s vendor does not have what you need. We will bill your organization for any costs associated with acquiring the film license. Additionally, remember that the Popp Martin Student Union has a Theater Programming grant that covers the cost of a film license for an event in the Theater on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.


If I am obtaining the rights to show a film through an entity that is not Swank Motion Pictures, what proof does the University need to see so that I can show my film?

A: If you have been in direct contact with a filmmaker or other film distributor, please send Gillian Perry a written confirmation from the entity you have communicated with so we have it for our records.


If I have more questions, who can I contact?

A: Emily Schnier, Operations Coordinator for the Popp Martin Student Union.