Do I need a license if the movie I plan to show at an on-campus movie night was released more than 50 years ago?

The term of copyright is determined by reference to the life of the author, not the release or publication of the work. Copyright subsists for the life of the author plus 50 years. Identifying the “author” of an audiovisual work is not always easy, since many people (director, screenwriter, producer, etc.) will have contributed to it. In any event, copyright in a movie or TV show will usually last considerably longer than 50 years after its initial release. Fill out the Film Screenings on Campus Form and a member of the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office will review the details of the screening you are planning. You can also contact Joan Links of the Media Commons at joan.links@utoronto.ca or a member of the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office at copyright@library.utoronto.ca for help in determining the term of copyright for any particular audiovisual work.

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