Frequently Asked Questions

I want to screen a PBS program

  • I am a teacher and I want to hold a screening of a PBS program for my students. Can I do that?

    Teachers have rights to record any broadcast off television (any station) and use the recording for the next 10 days in the classroom, under the Fair Use Guidelines of United States Copyright Law. However, PBS has negotiated with content producers for an even longer period for most PBS programs, in order to facilitate two things:

    1) Teacher integration of programming into the curriculum when appropriate, rather than within ten days after broadcast;

    2) Teacher/School preview of a program by several teachers to facilitate a potential decision to purchase an extended license and/or a packaged video with Teacher Guide.

    Most PBS programs have one year Educational Rights from the original broadcast date. This means that you can record a PBS program and show that recording in the classroom for one year following the date the program originally aired.

    Information regarding the rights related to programs that have been recorded is available on our PBS LearningMedia web site.

    If you would like to purchase a copy of a PBS program for educational use in the future, usage of our videos in a classroom setting is dependent upon whether the program comes with AV rights. To order a program, please contact Shop PBS at 800/424-7963, or, for more information about PBS Educational Media, please visit the following web site:
    PBS Shop for Teachers

    Items that include audio visual rights are designated as "AV" items and include the limited license to exhibit the program in accordance with the following guidelines:

    1. In-Room Use. Customer has the right to exhibit the Programs to an unlimited number of viewers where all viewers, monitor(s), and playback units are in the same room ("in-room use"). Such exhibition shall be in accordance with the Arrangement indicated on the Invoice and during the period applicable thereto. Customer acknowledges that the Programs may not be duplicated, broadcast, transmitted by cable, transmitted on any open circuit system, or otherwise transmitted in digital or analog form.

    2. Limited Instructional Television Fixed Service ("Limited ITFS") and Closed-Circuit Television ("CCTV"). Unless otherwise specified the AV Program price includes the right to transmit or exhibit the Programs over ITFS and CCTV limited to transmission within a building, single campus, or cluster of buildings, where those rights are available.

    3. Digital/Wide Access Network. Programs MAY NOT be distributed through any wide access network (i.e., open cable, broadcast, LAN, Web, etc.), digitized, and/or placed on a digital server.

    For more information, please visit the PBS Shop for Teachers Web site at:
    PBS Educational Media Helpdesk

  • I want to screen a PBS program at a public event. Can I do that?

    Usage of our videos in a public performance type of setting is dependent upon whether the programs one purchases come with AV (limited public performance) rights.

    Many of our programs that are available for purchase at http://teacher.shop.pbs.org/ come with AV rights, which include the limited license to exhibit the program as long as no admission fee is charged, and the viewing is in accordance with the following guidelines:

    1. In-Room Use. Customer has the right to exhibit the Programs to an unlimited number of viewers where all viewers, monitor(s), and playback units are in the same room ("in-room use"). Such exhibition shall be in accordance with the Arrangement indicated on the Invoice and during the period applicable thereto. Customer acknowledges that the Programs may not be duplicated, broadcast, transmitted by cable, transmitted on any open circuit system, or otherwise transmitted in digital or analog form.

    2. Limited Instructional Television Fixed Service ("Limited ITFS") and Closed-Circuit Television ("CCTV"). Unless otherwise specified the AV Program price includes the right to transmit or exhibit the Programs over ITFS and CCTV limited to transmission within a building, single campus, or cluster of buildings, where those rights are available.

    3. Digital/Wide Access Network. Programs MAY NOT be distributed through any wide access network (i.e., open cable, broadcast, LAN, Web, etc.), digitized, and/or placed on a digital server.

    For more information, please visit the PBS Shop for Teachers Web site at:
    PBS Educational Media Helpdesk