Re: [Videolib] Illegal copies? Need Advice

Christopher Lewis (
Wed, 9 Mar 2005 12:01:10 -0500

We have an ethical responsibility to abide by and inform about copyright
laws and fair-use guidelines but if a person chooses to ignore our guidance
and policies and do his own thing I feel confident then it is he or his
legal council who is liable, not us. Of course we can prevent future
borrowing and inform his dean but I doubt our legal liability increases by
simply learning of his intention to make copies - assuming there is no
record of our approving or encouraging it.

Chris Lewis
Media Librarian/Humanities Collection Manager
American University Library
AIM: congolene

If you have no money, be polite.
- Danish proverb

"Threatt, Monique
<mthreatt@indiana To
.edu> <>
Sent by: cc
library.berkeley. Subject
edu [Videolib] Illegal copies? Need

03/09/2005 10:02

Please respond to


I believe this situation may have come up before. I need your advice.

Recently, a work-study student overheard a faculty member say that he
was making copies of videos from our media teaching and research
collection for his own personal use. He also remarked that he had
checked with our legal department and they told him it was okay for him
to do so. Our circ records show that this faculty member has checked out
30 videos in the past month--all contemporary and popular titles, like
The Sopranos, and the LoTR trilogy.

Because I was not an eyewitness to this event, this is hearsay.
However, we trust our work-study students enough to believe that they
are telling the truth.

We don't label our videos, nor do we remind people not to make copies of
our videos. We would hope that our faculty would do the right thing and
not make illegal copies.

My question to you, or feel free to provide your own comments:

Do I confront the faculty member and ask him if he is making illegal
copies for his personal collection?

Should I call our legal department and try to find out who told this
person that it was okay to make copies?

If he admits that he is making copies, is it my job to tell him to stop?
Or, remind him that the teaching and research collection is for
classroom instruction only?

How would you handle the situation?

Monique Threatt
Media Librarian
Indiana University Bloomington
812 855 9857

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