Video copyright law for libraries

Mary Gontarek --- Owatonna Public Library (MARYG@selco.lib.mn.us)
Mon, 20 Nov 2000 15:02:13 -0800 (PST)

I just had an interesting conversation with a representative from a company thatsells motivational videos. They're VERY expensive but we have decided to previewfor possible purchase for staff training. During our conversation, the rep was
trying to determine who would be using the videos and he very pointedly stated
that their copyright only allowed viewing by organizations or groups, not individuals. I was not aware that those conditions could be stipulated for public
libraries. Am I wrong about this? Even though we probably would not check them
out to the general public due to the high cost of the items, it goes against the

grain for a company to try and tell us who can use the items we purchase. I
understand about public performance rights, but we still put those videos on
the shelf for the public to check out. The information is clearly labeled on thevideo and it is then up to the individual to decide whether to abide by the
copyright statement. I have no intention of pursuing this in the courts but
I sure wish someone would! Is this legal?
Mary Gontarek
Owatonna Public Library
Owatonna, MN
MaryG@selco.lib.mn.us