Re: Copyright question...a new one!

Gary Handman (
Tue, 27 Feb 2001 10:01:37 -0800 (PST)

Columbia Univesity vs CBS set the precedent, Mark. Presidental speeches
are definitely in the PD. Period.

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld

On Tue, 27 Feb 2001, Mark Richie wrote:

> Wow, another great question full of gray areas.
> The short opinion is: they are NOT in public domain (Gary, can you cite
> Law and/ or Code that says tapes of presidential debates or speeches are
> in PD?) and, they MAY, under limited circumstances, be open to making
> copies of for academic purposes.
> The Long opinion is:
> Section 108 (f) allows for the recording and preservation of Daily News
> Broadcasts for academic study and single non-systematic reproduction of
> a news broadcast for LENDING. News Broadcasts are copyrighted, but this
> is an exemption for certain libraries to the right of making copies of
> the broadcast. It does not apply to so called "Magazine" format
> broadcasts ( see Additional Comments Section of Copyright Law). Further,
> Section 108(f) only allows LENDING of the video or film archive and "is
> intended to preclude performance, copying, sale . . . by the recipient
> of a copy" of the newscast. (quote from added comments section of US
> Copyright Law).
> The government, per se, does not tape or film debates and speeches of
> political figures. It is done by network news organizations(including
> League of Women voters sponsored debates), pool cameras in the case of
> presidential speeches, state of the union etc. and, in the case of
> congressional testimony, under contract to an outside producer. (after I
> testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in 1988, I got a
> call offering to sell me a video copy of my testimony for $400. I told
> them I'd wait for the home video version) But I digress....
> So, now you are back to the source of the speeches and debates that the
> professor wants to compile. If they are embeded into a video produced
> by a video distributor, then they are part of a larger copyrighted work
> and are not fair game for copying. (Unless Gary is right and the
> original footage is PD to begin with.)
> If they are from a recorded newscast made under the provision of
> Section 108 (f) and obtained legally under the American TElevision and
> Radio Archive Act of 1974, the question arises if you can legally edit
> the archived programs to make a compilation (derivative work) even for
> lending purposes. Given the above wording in quotes - probably not.
> Mark Richie
> Patricia O'Donnell wrote:
> >
> > Hi Videolibbers.
> > I apologize in advance if this has already been addressed . I am wondering
> > if any of you can tell me whether Presidential debates, speeches,
> > addresses, etc. are considered to be in the Public Domain or are they
> > protected?
> >
> > I've just fielded an inquiry from a faculty member asking us to make a
> > compilation tape of Nixon's Checkers speech, Kennedy/Nixon debates,
> > Clinlton's "Lewinsky apology". etc., and I'm not sure if I need to pursue
> > license to do so or not.
> >
> > Any ideas?
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Patricia O'Donnell , Manager
> > OID-Instructional Media Library
> > (310) 206-1248
> >
> >