[Videolib] Public performance rights question

James Scholtz (jimscholtz@sdln.net)
Thu, 16 Sep 2004 14:05:50 -0400

Hi, I'm sure that Jessica and Gary will offer better opinions than mine
but, here it goes: A great many 16mm feature films were issued on a
long-term (5-yr.) renewable lease (e.g. Films, Inc.) that included PPF
rights. Just because the feature is on 16mm don't presume that it has PPF
rights. In your specific case, these films are the property of one person,
not the property of the library/organization, nor a leagally rented, PPF
copy. Also many "classics" are in the public domain now so you may be able
to show them (however, it would dtake considerable copyright effort to track
down title-by-title, references to the specific version and film dist. these
films came from. I think that the copyright police are not going to come
knocking at your door if you would show them, but you also don't want to set
a precedent (well, you showed this person's stuff, why won't you show
mine?). So I guess I'd politely pass, unless the owner can produce proof
that the films are legally acquired and have PPF rights. Just my opinion.
Jim Scholtz.

-----Original Message-----
From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
[mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu]On Behalf Of Barbara
Rhodes, Media Consultant, Northeast Texas
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2004 11:56 AM
To: Videolib list
Subject: [Videolib] Public performance rights question

I suspect I know the answer to this question, but I told the librarian who
asked me that I would submit it to the combined copyright expertise on this
list for additional feedback. The public library in question has a patron
who has offered to show 16mm film "classics" from his personal collection at
the library and conduct a film discussion group. The librarian does not
know what the exact origins of this collection are and has no idea if any
public performance copyright fees were paid on the material. She and I both
think that the collector has bought these from a variety of sources over
time and therefore, probably has no specific PPR permissions. On the other
hand, the materials are in 16mm, a presentation format, so once upon a time
the titles may well have had PPR attached.

My first reaction was to advise her against using the films in the library
meeting room--what do you folks think?

Thanks for you counsel.

Barbara Rhodes
Media Consultant
Northeast Texas Library System
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