PBS & Extended Recording Rights
For decades, PBS has worked to obtain greatly extended recording rights for the majority of its programming through negotiations with producers, other public television entities, PBS member stations, educators, various unions whose agreements govern many PBS productions, and other holders of program rights. Extended recording rights are negotiated rights to use off-air recordings in the classroom beyond the typical 10-day period granted under federal fair use guidelines. PBS pioneered agreements for such rights and has obtained them for a significant amount of PBS primetime and children's programming. As a result of these efforts, pre-K-12 schools have extended recording rights of one year or more for the majority of PBS programs.
Extended recording rights give teachers a free preview of programming and more time to review individual programs, evaluate their appropriateness for classroom use, and either schedule that use or purchase program recordings. The length of the free preview will vary, because these rights are negotiated on an individual basis with program producers and copyright holders. In some cases, PBS has secured for teachers permission to use off-air recording for the life of the recording (in perpetuity). More commonly, however, the agreement covers a specified time period, often one year. The time period is usually defined from the date of the broadcast from which the recording was made, although sometimes it is defined from the date of the original national broadcast on public television. Alternatively, there may simply be a fixed expiration date for the rights granted.
Note: The content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult an attorney with expertise in copyright law for advice relating to your specific circumstances and activities.