Re: Copyright question...a new one!

Gary Handman (
Tue, 27 Feb 2001 10:15:19 -0800 (PST)

Hi all:

In reading over the Columbia ruling (just now), I'm not certain it DOES
actually pertain to the question at hand. I'm going to flip this question
over to Bob Browning, Director of the Public Affairs Video Archive
(C-SPAN)for an opinion (Bob's not a member of this list). Hold tight and
let's see what he says.


At 10:01 AM 02/27/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>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
>> > 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
>> >
>> >