RE: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries

Lisa Irwin (
Wed, 4 Jun 2003 12:58:28 -0400

This public library has established video viewing policy within the library based on the title 117 definition Gary cites. Even in the small study rooms that accomodate 4-8 people and are quite private, we limit video viewing to those videos with public performance rights. It is my understanding that a 3-5 minute preview of copywritten videos is permissable, and occasionally patrons do a short sampling of a film to get a general idea of whether or not it will meet their needs before they check it out. When patrons ask to watch videos in the study rooms, I welcome it as a good opportunity to explain copyright to them. Most are very interested and quite understanding and supportive. I think it's just something that doesn't occur to the average person.

Lisa Irwin
Audiovisual Services
Kalamazoo Public Library
Library of the Year 2002
(269) 553-7923

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Handman []
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 12:25 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries

Title 117 defines public performance as making the sights visible and the
sounds audible in a public place (i.e. a place outside of the
home). Don't know which lawyers you've been talking to Jed, or what
substances they've been smoking, but in my 25 years in the biz (and in
talking to the lawyers I know) performance to groups in an institution
such as a library is public performance.


At 11:12 AM 6/4/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>I know I am not DEAD wrong. I have just completed a documentary on this
>subject and have consulted numerous copyright attorneys and scholars for the
>last three years. There are important differences between a screening
>with paid admission, a screening in a money making establishment, a public
>screening in a library, a screening to a private group in a library and a
>viewing by three library patrons who check out a video in a viewing
>equipment room. None of these meet the definition of your mythical 'home use
>only'. The right to control public performances covered in copyright law is
>very limited but has been expanded by backroom settlements in courthouses.
>We are not obligated to those settlements regardless of what our fearful or
>your aggressive lawyers may say.
>To put it another way, by your definition READING OUT LOUD TO CHILDREN
>SHOULD REQUIRE A LICENSE since books are for home use only. What you are
>proposing is a movable feast for copyright monopolists.
>-----Original Message-----
>[]On Behalf Of Jessica
>Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 11:57 AM
>Subject: Re: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries
>Sorry you are DEAD wrong. You have NO RIGHT for any type of PUBLIC SCREENING
>and copyright law is VERY CLEAR ON THIS. Right of first sale applies ONLY to
>home use ( which I have NO problem extending to individual carol use). By
>your definition any bar, college, theater etc that bought a legal tape could
>show it to an audience. I STRONGLY suggest you check with a good copyright
>attorney as this is not NOT a gray area.
>I understand Dawn's frustration I am a little uncomfortable with that kind
>of don't ask, don't tell position. Usually I don't "blame" institutions when
>for instance a student group at a college is caught showing one of our
>titles publically BUT I do think they are responsible when said student
>group comes to the library , asks to borrow the video projection equipement
>and NOBODY even asks them what they want to do with it.
>I think there is a pretty good chance that if you asked the people who put
>out the "how to" gardening tape , they might have no objection to a garden
>group watching it in the library but you need to ASK.
>What happens when the Boy's Scouts want to borrow your room for a screening
>Jessica Rosner
>Kino International
>333 W 39th St. 503
>NY NY 10018
> > From: "Jed Horovitz" <>
> > Reply-To:
> > Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 09:03:51 -0400
> > To: <>
> > Cc: <>
> > Subject: RE: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries
> >
> > Tracy,
> > I really disagree with Dawn. 'Getting around' this is the problem. We
> > to resist the ongoing, incremental effort to expand copyright in favor of
> > the distribution companies. Only by saying, "The library paid for this
> > has the right to show it in the library to patrons", will we stop them
> > creating a pay per view society.
> >
> > It is not a violation of copyright law. The copyright owners want you to
> > think it is. No where in the copyright law does it state that are they
> > allowed to create a 'shrink wrap' license by printing 'home use only' on
> > cover. If enough of us don't use our FIRST SALE, FAIR USE and FREE SPEECH
> > rights, they start to claim that as a precendent. Stand up to them.
> >
> > Just this week, the ALA filed an amicus brief (Baystate Technologies, Inc.
> > v. Bowers, petition to the U.S. Supreme Court) supporting my position.
> >
> > Jed Horovitz
> > President
> > Video Pipeline, Inc.
> > 16 S. Haddon Ave.
> > Haddonfield, NJ 08033
> > <>
> > 856 427 9799 x 11
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > []On Behalf Of Dawn Mogle
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 6:17 PM
> > To:
> > Subject: Re: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries
> >
> >
> > Tracy-
> > I usually get around this by having someone in the group check out the
> > video. What they do with it and where is their business! Any group using
> > meeting room can book equipment for a video showing and we do not ask what
> > they are showing. I refuse to be the video police for every video
> > distributor in America. If the library is sponsoring-yes, we toe the line
> > or get a license.
> >
> > Dawn Mogle
> > Lake Co. Public Library
> > Merrillville IN
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "TMontri" <>
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 4:15 PM
> > Subject: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries
> >
> >
> >> Hi all,
> >>
> >> I know this type of issue has been on the list often, but I have a
> > question
> >> regarding public performance of videos in public libraries. My library
> > has
> >> a gardening group (and has had several other similar types of community
> >> groups) that wants to show an instructional videotape that is home use
> > only.
> >> The screening will be in our auditorium. Would it be a violation of
> >> copyright law to allow the group to screen this video in the public
> > library?
> >> Or does this type of gathering consistute face-to-face teaching?
> >>
> >> Thanks in advance for your help,
> >> Tracy Montri
> >> Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Videolib mailing list
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Tracking #: 48B954B702E056418676D0C2B0ACB81100E89F57
> >>
> >
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> >
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> >
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> >
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Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley

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