RE: Copyright-fair use segment vs. off air rules

Gary Handman (
Tue, 12 Sep 2000 15:38:10 -0700 (PDT)

No, Steve.

The time parameters being cited here have nothing to do with the "fair
comment" provisions of the law. They are those established by the
Consortium of College and University Media Centers and other as part of the
Fair Use Guidelines for Multimedia (see (these were finally agreed
upon and released as part of the ill-fated CONFU proceedings; the American
Library Association and others felt them to be overly restrictive and
refused to sign on).

The notion of fair use as it applies to educational institutions is in no
way related to the fair use invoked by filmmakers in "quoting" segments as
part of films.


At 03:24 PM 09/12/2000 -0700, you wrote:
>Caveat lector, I am (blissfully) not a lawyer but I have had occasion to
>have an "opinion letter" on "fair comment" prepared in conjunction with
>Newsreel's release of two media literacy programs, Marlon Riggs' COLOR
>ADJUSTMENT and Harold Boihem's AD AND THE EGO. I think the time limit cited
>by Gary can be a bit misleading; it is a necessary but not sufficient
>condition for "fair comment." As I understand this highly controversial
>though infrequently contested area of law, the real question is not how much
>you use but how you use it. "Fair comment" means that you are commenting on
>a particular text or program; this would seem to imply that the program be
>identified (either specifically or generically) and that the filmmaker
>clearly be commenting not on what is represented in the footage but how it
>is represented by the film. You may not copy even 3 seconds of a program if
>you are merely using it as unpaid "stock footage," that is, simply to
>duplicate content. The 3 minute limit is, I believe, merely indicative of
>the maximum time felt necessary to "quote" from a program in order to
>comment about it; it could be regarded as excessive in certain
>circumstances. There are also considerations about whether the use is
>commercial and whether the use diminishes the commercial value of the
>original text (presumably by providing in effect a duplicate of the
>material, not by critiquing the text itself.)
>Larry Daressa
>California Newsreel
>149 Ninth Street #420
>San Francisco, CA 94103
>phone: 415.621.6196
>fax: 415.621.6522
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Gary Handman []
>Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2000 2:16 PM
>To: Multiple recipients of list
>Subject: Re: Copyright-fair use segment vs. off air rules
>Those quantified strictures ("less of 3 minutes or 10%") are from the CCUMC
>multimedia Fair Use guidelines. And that's what they are: Guidelines (NOT
>The off-air taping part of the equation has to do with the Kastenmeir
>Guidelines for off-air tape (again, they're GUIDELINES, not law)
>The two don't really have all that much to do with each other.
>I think you'd be skating on verrrrrrrrrrrry thin ice doing what you propose.
>At 01:40 PM 09/12/2000 -0700, you wrote:
>>Would the esteemed members (or at least those willing to venture their
>>thoughts) shed some light on the "less of 3 minutes or 10%" fair use
>>rule for video with regard to teacher prepared material (Hyperstudio or
>>PowerPoint). In particular, do the rules for off-air taping (i.e. show
>>full piece once in 30 days and parts of piece within another 15) trump
>>the above fair use rule? Specific instance: teacher wishes to prepare a
>>digitized video clip of 2 minutes from material taped off-air over 45
>>days ago.
>>Many thanks in advance!
>>Pierre J. Gregoire, MLIS.
>>Audio Visual Institute of DuPage
>>The Regional Media Library for the
>>Teachers and Students of DuPage County
>Gary Handman
>Media Resources Center
>Moffitt Library
>UC Berkeley 94720-6000
>"Everything wants to become television" (James Ulmer -- Teletheory)
Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley 94720-6000

"Everything wants to become television" (James Ulmer -- Teletheory)