There is no need to pay for the public performance license if a professor is showing a film to officially registered students in a face-to-face classroom as long as the content of the film is directly related to the course. This exemption is explained in the Copyright Law of the United States of America: § 110. Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays
Obtaining Public Performance Rights (PPR) is necessary for all other screenings of copyrighted films to audiences outside of the regular curriculum (e.g. extracurricular events, film series, and student club events). To obtain public performance rights, Swank Motion Pictures may be contacted.
Distributors of educational or documentary films typically sell their films with PPR. For these films, paying for the public performance license is unnecessary.
Netflix has created a YouTube playlist of its educational documentaries for instructors to stream in their online classes. Educational Documentaries | Netflix YouTube Playlist
Licenses overrule copyright exemptions. Showing clips can be covered by fair use (Section 107), however, there is no exemption for streaming videos from personal subscription vendors.
Disney+ “You agree that as a condition of your license, you may not and agree not to …use the Services…in any…area open to the public . . whether or not for profit.”
Similar statements are in the user agreements of most personal streaming vendors, they do not grant rights for institutional or educational use. (Amazon Music, Amazon Prime Video, Apple Media, HBO Now, Hulu, Pandora, ShowTime, Spotify)
This is why the library offers to obtain streaming videos through institutional subscription vendors like Kanopy, Films on Demand, Alexander Street Press, and Swank Digital Campus.