[Videolib] DVD-R's in the collection . . . rights/wrongs/etc.

Michael Cook (mnc2@cornell.edu)
Wed, 18 Feb 2004 14:30:09 -0500

Fine Videolib folks,

I've been asked by a faculty member to help him contact the makers of a
science video (title: Life in the Soil) so that he can obtain permission to
use the film in his teaching. I'm not certain to what extent he plans to
use the video (show the whole thing, use excerpts, etc.) but he also wants
to put it on DVD-R and donate it to our library so that it can be
accessible to our users and his students. He owns a VHS copy.

I know that this opens up a few cans of worms: 1) is it fair use for
educational purposes; 2) he needs permission to reproduce (i.e. digitize)
the work, and 3) the issue of donating a DVD-R to a library's collection.
To make this all a little more interesting, the organization(s) that
produced the work appears to be defunct or at least very difficult to reach
(full credits are Sakura Motion Picture Co.; International Research Center
for Nature Farming.; MOA Products Corp.; MOA Productions.). I've been
trying to help him locate information on contacting them but the info that
has turned up online turns out to be outdated, broken links or unresponsive
addresses. This film came out in the early 1990's.

I've advised the faculty member that I can neither condone nor prevent him
from digitizing the film, but that I'd help him seek out the organization
to contact for permission. I don't expect anyone on this list to be
familiar with the rights owners of this film, but how have others dealt
with offers like this? If someone donates a CD-R or DVD-R to your
collection, does including something in a collection without being certain
of the rights involved in reproducing it make this another copyright
violation? My gut feeling is that it probably does, but I don't know the
specifics of why. I'm inclined to tell him that we can't accept it unless
he has been given written permission from the rights owners, whoever that is.

Sorry for the long rambling, I know this is a sticky one to answer!

- Michael

Michael Cook
Coordinator, Public Access Computing
Albert R. Mann Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4301
email: mnc2@cornell.edu
office: 607-255-7959

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"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain
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