Frequently Asked Questions.

What We Do

What does Swank do?

Swank provides movies and movie licensing to companies, colleges, K-12 schools, public libraries and dozens of other entities that want to show films legally on their property. We work with everyone from the best studios in Hollywood to the most innovative indie film companies to help individuals turn everyday events into extraordinary experiences.  


Why do I need Swank’s services?

According to the Federal Copyright Act, copyrighted materials like movies can only be used for a public performance if they’re properly licensed.  

However, neither the rental nor purchase of a movie carries the right to exhibit it outside of one’s home. So how can you get your movie and site licensed so you can show your movie? That’s where we come in. Check out our copyright information to learn more.   


What exactly is a public performance?

A public performance is an exhibition of a movie that is shown outside of someone’s home. Fees collected for public performance licensing compensate the copyright owners and the men and women who work on a film from start to finish.


Who appointed Swank to issue public performance licensing?

Hollywood film studios trust Swank as their liaison and agent to provide public performance licensing for their library of movies.  


We have been using movies for years. Why haven't we heard of this before?

Unauthorized use of someone else's copyrighted materials in the U.S. has been a copyright law violation since 1970. Movie studios have had a compliance royalty procedure for use of their films in place for many years.

Currently, most of the major studios have made copyright compliance simpler and less expensive for correctional institutions by appointing Swank as their sole agent to assist in their copyright enforcement program.


If I borrow movies from a public library, can I use them legally for entertainment in my facility?

The facility itself must be licensed to legally show these movies. A public library cannot pass on copyright compliance to anyone, and only Swank or the studio that produced the movie can grant copyright compliance. If the film is covered under your annual public performance license, you can show it.


What if a third party says it is okay to publicly exhibit rented or purchased entertainment movies?

Third parties cannot provide legal permission for use outside the home. These movies, like the movies you own, are for "home use only" and must be licensed for public performance.



After Purchase


How can I confirm that a movie I'd like to show is covered under my annual public performance site license?

Check to see if the movie you want to show is covered with our movie search tool. If the film title appears, it is covered under the annual public performance site license.


Where can I acquire entertainment movies after we receive our license?

Once licensed, you can exhibit any movies by the studios we represent as long as they are secured from a legal source such as a rental source, the public library or your personal collection.


Are there limitations to an annual public performance site license?

This license is for correctional facilities only. Outdoor showings are not allowed or covered under our movie licensing agreements. In addition, the movies may not be altered, duplicated, digitized or transmitted electronically in any form without specific permission from the copyright owner.