Re: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries

Francis C Poole (fpoole@UDel.Edu)
Wed, 4 Jun 2003 14:33:14 -0400 (EDT)

Before I leave for a reception where hopefully there will be
drinks served, I have to say I don't understand how we went from a
discussion of the viewing of a film in a public place to a consideration
of whether reading a children's book in a library constitutes a public
performance. As I have too frequently had to remind my colleagues in the
print world, a book is not a film. The two are different creatures with
different and often multiple sets of rights which may be owned by
several entities. Sue or Joe Librarian reading the
Wizard of Oz to the public in a Library is not the same as giving a public
screening of Victor Fleming's Wizard of Oz or the Wiz. The Scarcrow even
knows that much. I would suggest we start with the Fair Use
guidelines and Title 17.
Mary Hitchings Reed as counsel to the American Library Association gave
this opinion (granted it's an opinion but at least she's read the

In-library Use in Public Libraries: Most performances of a
videotape in a public room as part of an entertainment or cultural
program, whether a fee is charged or not, would be infringing and a
performance license is required from the copyright owner.

Now back to Jessica, Gary, and Jed.

Francis Poole
University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware

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