Re: video streaming and copyright

Dan Donnelly (
Thu, 30 Nov 2000 10:00:40 -0800 (PST)

I think fair use is part of this. When something we do infringes copyright it does just that, i.e. infringes on the copyright. So, a distinction to make when analyzing for fair use is whether one is using the work or using the copyright. Using the copyright might involve copying to re-market or re-distribute for some commercial purpose. Using the work might be something different and may be what one does when one copies for study or teaching purposes in the classroom. Indeed, those purposes are statutory purposes mentioned in Sec. 107, which seems to be telling us about exceptions to the exclusive rights held by copyright owners.

I'm not an attorney, but if I were I might find myself willing --for the only time in my life--, to call myself a fundamentalist. I can't see any language in 107 that forbids some copying for some of the educational purposes my library collection supports.

As for sensibility, indeed, there is nothing to recommend wholesale digital capture of entire videorecordings along the lines of the treatment of sound recordings in the Variations Project at Indiana. I only mention the project as an extreme, a very aggressive fair use assertion to contrast with the supposition that it might be legal to digitize an off air dub. However, I do think that the teaching community brings pressure to managers like myself to support virtual classroom activity, - course Web sites, electronic reserves in the library, etc- with visual content. As a rule the demand is for short clips rather than entire programs. I'd like to find a way to help. The digital networked video library might be a database of digital objects comprised of short video clips. Even that could involve huge amounts of data, eventually terabytes not gb.

Supporting new technology teaching activity has become a matter of survival on my campus, and in my library. (Does anyone else on the list feel these pressures?) If I can't attach the D word to the activity it won't get funded. That puts continuing support for my media service in competition with every digital initiative in the library. If I need staff, I can't get staff unless staff are attached to something digital, and even then it's pretty tough. Being a media service manager in an academic library has not been a piece of cake. If I need equipment I can't get equipment unless it's a computer. I won't say these are reasons to infringe copyright but I will seek opportunities to bring recorded materials content to new media teaching technology if that's what it takes to keep video collections alive.

Dan Donnelly, Library Manager
Learning Resources Center
University of Minnesota Libraries

At 02:04 PM 11/29/2000 -0800, you wrote:
>OK...Here it is again:
>There are two central issues (at least) involved in creating a digital,
>networked video library:
>1. Transferring one format to another (i.e. analog to digital) constitutes
>making a derivative work -- one of the five exclusive rights assigned to
>copyright holders (or their assigned agents)
>2. The right to broadcast a work is another exclusive right held by the
>copyright owner.
>As far as I can tell, Fair Use does not enter into this equation AT
>ALL! (...yes, EVEN if the works have passworded access, EVEN if the
>content is used exclusively in Face to Face teaching).
>..but more to the point: even if there weren't copyright strictures in
>the way, the tech issues involved in mounting and delivering (even
>locally) large video datafiles are enormous (if not totally insurmountable)
>at present. What, pray tell, is the point of spending massive amounts of
>staff time, CPU space, bandwidth, and classroom time trying to deliver what
>are (at present) substandard images with unstable technologies, when
>there's a perfectly serviceable and relatively cost-effective technology at
>hand--i.e. tape and DVD. Being cutting edge is one thing; being sensible
>seems increasingly to be another thing altogether.
>At 01:37 PM 11/29/2000 -0800, you wrote:
>>Hi Everyone,
>>I'd like to ditto Don's query. I have had discussions with the vice
>>chancellor I report to about digitizing our entire video collection to be
>>put on a server for distribution to carrels in our lab, and maybe also to
>>classrooms on campus. I too have wondered about the copyright issue that
>>might be involved. If anyone can clarify this I'm sure there are a number
>>of us who are facing the same uncertain future.
>>Jim Glenn
>>Manager, Media Library
>>Universiy of California, Riverside
>>At 01:21 PM 11/29/00 -0800, you wrote:
>> >Hello all:
>> >
>> >If I may, I'd like to expand Colette Ford's query about off-air dubbing
>>and digitizing for video streaming.
>> >
>> >A version of Colette's questions are being asked here at Minnesota and I
>>suspect at many other places around the country. We're not immediately
>>concerned with off-air taping that is then digitized for Web access, but
>>rather digitizing videocassettes and s
>> >ound recordings from our collections, for storage on large servers and
>>providing Web access to the files. I'm not sure that some version of web
>>access to videos without securing permission can't be legal. In Colette's
>>first question, it seems as if some u
>> >ser restriction (password protection or geographic limitation) might
>>protect an institution from copyright infringement. If fair use might apply
>>in the classroom, what about the virtual classroom? What if access is
>>restricted to an on-campus lab, say a li
>> >brary location or a classroom, where user workstations are equipped with
>>client applications to access a server, could that be legal in some cases
>>or in some sense? Aside from the analog to digital transformation and off-air!
>> > taping guidelines, how is in-building viewing of Web delivered video
>>different from in-building video viewing at a VHS equipped viewing station
>>or video projection presentation? If one can legally dub the video off air
>>and use it in the classroom for st
>> >udent viewing for a limited time, then why couldn't one use that same
>>program content in the new media environment that restricts viewing to
>>students enrolled in a particular course at a degree granting non-profit
>>educational institution?
>> >
>> >The thing that nags at me with this question is the Variations project at
>>Indiana University. I'm not sure what they do about copyright permissions
>>but it seems as if they've decided to go ahead with digitization of the
>>music library's entire collection o
>> >f music recordings and make them available on library workstations inside
>>their new building. Their Website,
>>says that so far they've got over 5,000 recordings digitized. They don't
>>mention much about copyright, oth
>> >er than to say in a paper (available on the site) that copyright is one
>>reason they restrict Web listening to in-building use only, no remote
>>dial-up access, and so far no access via the campus network.
>> >
>> >Does anyone on this list know about the approach to permissions in the
>>Variations Project? Do they get permission to digitize everything they make
>>available on the Web? I don't think there's a difference between video and
>>audio recordings when it comes to
>> > copyright permission to use the recordings for teaching in college
>>curricula. So, can the Variations Project instruct us about video in any
>>way even though it's not about off-air recording? The project is about new
>>educational technology and it demonstra
>> >tes Indiana's willingness to move forward on such a large scale that I
>>can't imagine them going ahead without a strong sense of confidence with
>>respect to copyright permissions, however they may manage the issue.
>> >
>> >I think copyright permissions and Web access to recorded materials under
>>the aegis of non-profit educational environments is a can of worms that
>>should be opened wide. I don't know where to find the time or the opener,
>>but this list is always a good sourc
>> >e of ideas.
>> >
>> >Dan Donnelly, Library Manager
>> >Learning Resources Center
>> >University of Minnesota Libraries
>> >
>> >
>> >At 04:33 PM 11/21/2000 -0800, you wrote:
>> >>Hi Colette:
>> >>
>> >>In re your question one: the Kastenmeir guidelines apply to off-air
>> taping
>> >>and showing of materials in the classroom, as well as tape
>> >>retention. There's nothing in these guidelines that would apply to your
>> >>case.
>> >>
>> >>The issues at hand in your case are: transferring from analog to digital
>> >>(considered making a derivative work--and one of the exclusive rights of
>> >>the copyright holder) And broadcasting the work (another of the rights of
>> >>the copyright owner). Doing what you propose without securing rights, I
>> >>don't believe you'd have a legal leg to stand on----passworded site or not.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>At 03:58 PM 11/21/2000 -0800, you wrote:
>> >>>Dear List Members,
>> >>>
>> >>>Someone in our academic computing office has posed the following
>> questions
>> >>>about video streaming and copyright. I've searched the list archives for
>> >>>info but would appreciate any additional answers to these. In
>> addition to
>> >>>his questions below, I also want to know: For question 1, I know about
>> the
>> >>>Kastenmeir guidelines for off-air tapes used in classroom teaching, but
>> >>>would they apply to video steaming if delivered to the classroom or
>> >>>classmembers? For question 3, are there special "broadcast" rights as
>> >>>opposed to "public performance rights" which need to be secured for video
>> >>>streaming? In question 3, I'll inform him of the fun we sometimes have
>> >>>trying to determine the copyright holder of videos, but any hints in
>> >>>answer to his question are welcome.
>> >>>
>> >>>Specific questions for the computing staff member:
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>>1. If an instructor wants his students to watch a particular PBS program,
>> >>>can I tape this TV broadcast for them and make it available on a web
>> >>>server and under what circumstances? The video server can be restricted
>> >>>to:
>> >>>a. limit availability to locations on campus
>> >>>b. allow only 1 or any limited number of concurrent streams
>> >>>c. make the video available only for watching, not saving or copying
>> >>>
>> >>>2. Same question for the content released on VHS tape or DVD disk.
>> >>>
>> >>>3. What's the proper way to approach the copyright holder for a release to
>> >>>do a limited public performance or how to negotiate a reasonable royalty?
>> >>>
>> >>>Thank you,
>> >>>
>> >>>Collette
>> >>>
>> >>>Collette Ford
>> >>>Multimedia Resources Center Librarian
>> >>>Univ Calif Irvine
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >>Gary Handman
>> >>Director
>> >>Media Resources Center
>> >>Moffitt Library
>> >>UC Berkeley 94720-6000
>> >><>
>> >>
>> >>"Everything wants to become television"
>> >>(Gregory Ulmer. Teletheory : Grammatology in the Age of Video)
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >Dan Donnelly, Library Manager
>> >Learning Resources Center
>> >University of Minnesota Libraries
>> >612.624.6536
>> >--
>> >
>> >
>Gary Handman
>Media Resources Center
>Moffitt Library
>UC Berkeley 94720-6000
>"Everything wants to become television"
>(Gregory Ulmer. Teletheory : Grammatology in the Age of Video)
Dan Donnelly, Library Manager
Learning Resources Center
University of Minnesota Libraries