Re: [Videolib] Alfred's Place

(clarkjc@jmu.edu)
Fri, 27 May 2005 15:35:38 -0400

Dennis,

It looks to me like this business is built on a simplified
version of fair use defense. What they distribute, mostly,
are copies of programs that have been previously recorded
privately. The idea is that if a title isn't commercially
available/in print, it's fair game.

However, that's both simplifying and stretching the
application of FU a bit much. People used to (and still do)
trade such works privately, but a publicized business built
on it is more than questionable, I think. In addition, the
website info doesn't clearly show that the works being
offered are ensured to be literally in public domain or not
in print: that seems to be left up to the buyer to profess
and claim. With the rate of stuff going into and coming out
of print, this approach is problem too even if the FU
interpretation weren't (which it is).

In the end, however, it's the market and copyright holders
that would have to crack down on Alfred's Place. Buying their
product would be unlikely to make you liable for infringement-
-but I'd advise applying an ethical copyright policy that
stipulates this sort of material can't become part of a
publicly serviced video collection, and perhaps not even
bought with specific library or other funds. What faculty (or
even we ourselves) do as private citizens is their own
business--but not in your professional capacity.

My two cents, Jeff

---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 12:01:11 -0500
>From: "McGuire, Dennis" <dmcguire@colum.edu>
>Subject: [Videolib] Alfred's Place
>To: <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
>
> I've been asked to purchase a couple of Hitchcock
> films from Alfred's Place
> http://www.alfredsplace.com/. Anyone else dealt
> with them? What they're doing looks less than legal
> but they're so upfront about it that I am
> questioning myself. Here are the questionable
> links:
>
> http://www.alfredsplace.com/mission.htm and
>
> http://www.alfredsplace.com/disclaimer.htm
>
>
> Thanks.
>
> Dennis
>
>
> -------------------
> Dennis McGuire
> Head of Digital and Media Services
> Columbia College Chicago Library
> 624 S. Michigan Ave.
> Chicago, IL 60605
> (v) 312.344.7434
> (f) 312.344.8062
>
>

===========
Jeff Clark
Director
Media Resources MSC 1701
James Madison University
Harrisonburg VA 22807
clarkjc@jmu.edu (email)
540-568-6770 (phone)
540-568-7037 (fax)
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