Re: [Videolib] Fair use of videos

Meghann R Matwichuk (
Wed, 2 Feb 2005 13:45:20 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 2 Feb 2005, Jessica Rosner wrote:

> In a case like this you probably had no other options as I am guessing the
> film in question was not available anywhere else
> What I find odd is who was supposed to be buying it for $295? That is hardly
> a price for individuals. Was it one of those two tiered prices for public
> libraries vs university libraries?

Yep, no other options... the film is called Bolivia (d. Adrian Caetano,
2001) and is listed on Facets as Not Yet Available. So, hopefully
eventually we will be able to get our hands on it. I had to contact the
company directly in order to find out a price, so I have no information
about tiered pricing.

> However this is a different type of situation since the title was not
> available retail and as the company pretty much has 100% control they can
> do what they want

Yes, they certainly have complete control over it... What I found ironic
was that, at the time, the company had a statement on their website
stating something to the effect that "our mission is to reach the widest
audience possible", etc. etc. Yet by charging nearly $700 for a feature
film, they prevented the critical study and evaluation of what one
instructor deemed an important work that they are responsible for
distributing. We have purchased tapes that were much more expensive than
their $295 price tag; it was the charge for rights that we would not use
or need that made us balk and finally decide to postpone the purchase.


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

>> From: Meghann R Matwichuk <mtwchk@UDel.Edu>
>> Reply-To:
>> Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 11:34:41 -0500 (EST)
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] Fair use of videos
>> 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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