Re: [Videolib] Re: Copyright Update

Troy Davis (
Wed, 28 Apr 2004 16:55:08 -0400

Hi June,
Here's the crux. There are no specific allowances in Section 107. The
"such as" clause does not seem to mean "only." It's the subsequent four
factors that will used to determine whether a "use of a work in any
PARTICULAR case is a fair use (emphasis added)." Perhaps what Jed meant
by "no facts" is that no where in section 107 (fair use) does it say,
for example, that you can only use 3 minutes of a copyrighted song in
your powerpoint slide at a conference or something to that effect.

And your right, a lawsuit could solve some issues, but its important to
remember that a lawsuit would be about a particular complaint of
infringement. So this conversation about copyright is good for me
because its forcing me to return to the statute and inform myself. The
real kicker is that copyright law is federal law and that the only
NATIONALLY binding court decision could come from the Supreme Court. Of
course Congress could amend the law.

just to recap (and to note a minor error in your last paragraph),
Section 108 does allow libraries the right to reproduce newsreels AND
motion pictures (under certain conditions).

By the way, I normally don't spend this much time thinking about this,
but it just so happens that I'm working on some copyright policy
statements (with a lawyer) for our digital library initiatives and just
happen to be unfortunately close to it at this time.


June Drotleff wrote:

> While arguing about where fair use begins and ends, I think it would be
> prudent to keep something in mind. The further you go beyond what is
> specifically allowed by fair use, the more you open up your institution
> to the possiblity of a lawsuit. If your institution can take that
> flack, my advise it to go ahead and push the envelope if only so other
> institutions can know how far they may go. If your institution is not in
> a position to have to defend itself against an accusation of copyright
> infringment, I'd advise taking the conservative view.
> As to the intent of the law, I have no idea. But it sounds to me as if
> the lawmakers wanted to make sure that unique items of scholarly
> importance will always be available. After all it seems to specifically
> allow copies of newsreels and disallow copies of motion pictures. I have
> no idea where this leaves film studies students.
> June Drotleff
> A/V Librarian
> Salem Public Library
> Salem, Ohio 44460

M. Troy Davis
Media Services Librarian
University of Tennessee Libraries :: The Studio
245 John C. Hodges Library
Knoxville, TN 37996

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