Re: [Videolib] Fair use of videos

Meghann R Matwichuk (
Wed, 2 Feb 2005 11:34:41 -0500 (EST)

Hi Mary (et. al.),

This situation has come up in our department before -- we had a request to
purchase a feature film distributed by a company called Cinema Tropical,
and the purchase price was $295. We were prepared to pay this, but were
informed that PPR rights would cost us an additional $400, and that we
would need to purchase these rights for classroom use. The following is a
clip from my response to Cinema Tropical:

"A bit of clarification on the Public Performance Rights -- classroom
showings are considered Fair Use under the face-to-face teaching provision
of the Copyright Act. Non-classroom exhibition (i.e. inviting the public
or opening the screening to those not in said class) would require PPR.
Our faculty is intending to use this for a class, in a face-to-face
teaching situation, and thus we won't be purchasing PPR for the title at
this time."

Not that this did any good, but it might be worth a shot with The
Discovery Channel folks. In our case, the company refused to release the
video to us for the purchase price of $295, and we refused to pay $400 for
rights that we did not need or would not use. Thankfully, our instuctor
was very understanding.

Also, here's the text applicable text of the Act itself -- Section 110(1)
of the Copyright Act:

"Sec. 110. - Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain
performances and displays

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not
infringements of copyright:

(1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the
course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational
institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction..."

Good luck,

Meghann R. Matwichuk
Instructional Media Department
Morris Library
University of Delaware
181 S. College Ave.
Newark, DE 19717
(302) 831-1475

On Wed, 2 Feb 2005, Mary Seligman wrote:

> Good morning:
> A teacher in my building has requested we purchase the video "Pompeii" shown
> on The Discovery Channel. I called them and was told that it does not come
> with public performance rights and therefore cannot be sold to a school. It
> is my understanding that Fair Use covers the showing of videos in classrooms
> as part of instruction, which is how this would be used. I understand that I
> would need PPR if I were to show it in the auditorium for entertainment.
> Help?
> Mary Seligman
> Library Media Specialist
> Paul D. Schreiber High School
> Port Washington, NY
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