Re: [Videolib] public performance in public libraries

Brigid Duffy (
Wed, 4 Jun 2003 13:40:10 -0700

Mentioning "The Wizard of Oz" is good, because that has been popular as a
book, a play and a film. I'm not the copyright holder for any version of
"The Wizard", but my guess would be:

1) reading from the book - if the listeners like it, they'll buy copies.
I'd like it.

2) reading from the play - if the listeners like it, they won't buy copies.
Licensing performances of a play is the way that copyright holder gets
revenue. I wouldn't like it.

3) showing the video/film - if the viewers like it, will they buy a copy?
Or is the showing my source of revenue? If I held a video/film copyright,
I'd get a migrane.

And by the way, how many people would listen to 'Storytime with Sue', and
how many would watch the play, or a film screening?

With copyright, always more questions than answers...

Brigid Duffy
Audio Visual/ITV Center
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132-4200

> 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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