Re: Legal Question

Clark, Jeff (
Wed, 25 Apr 2001 08:26:18 -0700 (PDT)


The answer will probably depend on whether you signed a
license agreement when making the "purchase"--whatever it
was formally termed (purchase, lease, or other).

If *not*, I'd say the existing copyright law exemption
for classroom teaching is on your side regardless (as it
is in the case of the traditional "home use only" warning
on popular commercial videocassettes).

The "no loan" provision is an interesting new wrinkle,
however--and to me a bit confusing. The intention of this
proscription, as written, would seem to be to limit the
market to home users who purchase the cassette
individually. Thus eliminating the arrangement where a
public library buys it, loans it to patrons for use in
their homes (and doesn't provide equipment for any
in-facility use by them). The same notion can be extended
to academic libraries (assuming they had no viewing
facilities and further, student dorms weren't considered
"homes"). Academics would only get off the hook on actual
face-to-face classroom teaching (and the use of a loan
procedure that would be the means to accomodate this).

Yet the company sold your institution the cassette. So
what's the intention here? My hunch is that this warning
notice hasn't been well thought out, and possibly in
partial ignorance of the copyright law. If not
accompanied by a license you had to sign, all the terms of
the proscription are further weakened and
irrelevant (short of exhibiting for profit, and public
display outside of formal classes in general).

Anyway, that's a take off the top of my head. Can anyone
else shed more/contrary light on this?

Jeff Clark

On Wed, 25 Apr 2001 07:44:33 -0700 (PDT) John Holland
<> wrote:

> Recently I have run across some new video releases, mainly on smaller
> specilaized labels (but presumably not bootlegs) with the following
> disclaimer on the label:
> "Warning: This videocassette is licensed for private home use. All other
> rights including duplication, broadcast by any means, RENTAL OR LOAN
> public display are prohibited." (The emphasis in caps is mine).
> Most of this is familiar and understood, but the part about renting or
> loaning through a video store or library is new to me. Is this legit? And
> if so, why are they selling their videos through vendors which sell to
> libraries and video stores? Or is it a lot of hot air?
> I remember seeing this on some videos which were purchased by the library
> a long time ago, and assumed it was no longer valid, but as I mentioned, I
> have several recent purchases that claim the same rights (I will refrain
> from naming names right now).
> Any opinions and/or expert knowledge is welcome!
> John Holland
> Chicago Public Library
> Media Express
> (312)747-4100

Jeff Clark
Media Resources (MSC 1701)
James Madison University
540-568-6770 (voice)
540-568-3405 (fax)