Public Screenings

What constitutes a screening in public?

For the purposes of copyright in Australia, a screening of a film outside the home is generally regarded as "in public".

The audience need not be together in the one room for the screening to be regarded as “in public”. For example the transmission of movies through an internal closed network to individual units or rooms will be regarded as a public screening. Note, however, that the blanket licence  available from the Roadshow PPL website does not cover transmission of movies by such systems.

Similarly the screening does not need to be on one large screen for it to be regarded as "in public". For example a public screening includes where a club or venue distributes individual devices eg ipads which contain electronic copies of a film(s) that the club or venue has purchased legally for patrons to be able to access and watch the film(s). In this instance the screenings must be incidental to the club or venue's primary business purpose, unadvertised, and there must be no charge for the use of the individual device.

What type of organisations can conduct a public screening?

A public screening may occur in a broad range of locations, including pubs, clubs, hotels / motels, restaurants / cafes, nightclubs, shopping centres, retirement and aged care homes, hospitals, mining camps / oil rigs, factories, libraries, buses / coaches, churches, trains, ferries, and numerous other similar organisations and venues.

Even if the organisation screening the film is a non-profit organisation (such as exhibitions in a church) permission from the copyright holder is still required.

Until the copyright owner or its licensed representative has given written permission, you are not authorised to conduct the public screening. You should not assume that permission will be granted as each decision is at the sole discretion of the copyright owner or its licensed representative.