Screening DVDs at film/movie nights

Is it OK to play a DVD at a student movie night if we don't charge an entry fee?

Answer ID 2808 | Last updated on 17/01/2023 04.45 PM

There are a couple of exceptions in the Copyright Act that allow for DVDs to be played during lectures, but showing a DVD at an event - like a movie night - is considered to be a "public performance". This means permission is needed from the copyright owners, regardless of whether an entry or attendance fee is charged.

The Australian Copyright Council has produced an information sheet on screening films in public which outlines the reasons why permission is needed, and the organisations to contact in order to obtain permission.

Alternatively, the film you want to screen - or a similar film - may be available through the online platform Kanopy that the Library subscribes to. You can show a Kanopy film provided you are an enrolled UWA student or staff member and you:

  1. Stream it live (so don't try to download or record it)
  2. Stream it live on the UWA campus (so you can't hold the event off-campus)
  3. Don't charge a fee for admission

For more information about Kanopy movies, please contact the University Library.

Was this answer helpful?