[Videolib] Copyright & copying quiz

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Wed, 26 Mar 2003 09:13:32 -0500

I am not sure if we are discussing apples & oranges in this ongoing debate (
i.e. obscure educational titles or feature films) but I would sincerely like
some clarification on under what circumstances Gary and those who agree
with him think it is OK to copy a film or video. I am NOT doing this to be
difficult but because I really don't know Gary's position and maybe we are
not as far apart as it seems

A. Your library has a 16mm documentary feature purchased from a defunct
company. This film is used frequently in classes and has never been released
on VHS. Print is getting old & splicey and breaking down several times a
screening and the professors want you to dub it to video. Do you do this and
if so after taking which steps and using what part of copyright law as
A2 Same as above but print is getting sprocket damage
A3 Same as above but print is going Red

B Same circumstances as above BUT the title in question American of Foreign
independent Feature film. Again never released on video and purchased from
a defunct company

C. Same as above but the film is studio film say LOVE ME TONIGHT or THREE
WOMEN. Studio has never released film on video and when you contact them
they DON'T give you permission to make a copy even if your 16mm is beyond

D Same as above but the film in question is that 1966 30 minute film
on Bolivian basket makers from a company out of business for 25 years

E. Go through EACH of the above scenarios but replace 16mm with video
(i.e. a video you purchased is dying and you can't buy a replacement can
you copy it in ANY of the above circumstances)

F. You have a rare video LONG out of print, that is damaged but you CAN
copy it. You can not locate original distributor BUT you can get
a USED legal copy from a company for $500 ( after all it is rare)

G. You had a rare video that you paid A LOT OF MONEY FOR ( say $600) from a
now defunct company that dealt with educational videos.
It is lost or stolen and company you bought it from is out business
BUT a library you know has a copy. Assuming they won't lend it on a regular
basis and you use it often, would it be OK to ask them to copy it or let you
copy it SINCE you bought a legal copy and can not replace it?

If you believe that is OK to copy under any of the above circumstances do
you think that the fact that a film is out of print/and or never released on
video AND the company that released it is out of business is sufficient
to determine ownership or do you need to do a Library of Congress search?

Related to the above, do you believe the law requires you to determine
OWNERSHIP or merely establish that the item is not available?

I think that should do it for me

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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