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

Under the Fair Use Guidelines of United States Copyright Law, teachers have rights to record any broadcast off television (any station) and use the recording for the next 10 days in the classroom. PBS has negotiated with content producers for an even longer period for most PBS shows in an attempt to facilitate the following:

  1. Teacher integration of shows into the curriculum when appropriate, rather than within ten days after broadcast; 
  2. Teacher/School preview of a show by several teachers to facilitate a potential decision to purchase an extended license and/or a packaged video with Teacher Guide. 

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

Information regarding the rights related to shows that have been recorded is available on our PBS LearningMedia website

If you would like to purchase a copy of a PBS show for educational use in the future, usage of our videos in a classroom setting is dependent upon whether the show comes with AV rights. To order a show, please contact Shop PBS at 1-800-531-4727 or for more information about PBS Educational Media, please visit the PBS Shop for Teachers website.

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

  1. In-Room Use. Customer has the right to exhibit the Shows 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 Shows 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 Shows 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. Shows 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 Customer Service page on the PBS Shop for Teachers website.