I have just run across OITP's document concerning various uses of
copyrighted videos in libraries. I am particularly concerned about the
statements regarding the use of copyrighted works as part of library "movie
nights." It is my strong feeling (supported by 25 years as a media
librarian) that this information is both inaccurate and potentially
dangerous in light of current copyright and current commercial practices
and tendencies. While it may be true that there has been no case law
brought to bear regarding this type of practice, it is, I believe, only a
matter of time, given the increasingly litigious nature of the media
Most librarians involved in collecting and providing access to film and
video consider such events as movie nights as falling clearly within the
definition of public performance, which is, as you are aware, one of the
exclusive rights of copyright holders. My concern is more with the many
librarians who deal with film and video only occasionally and who might be
seriously mislead by your statement.
I am forwarding these comments to the ALA Video Round Table listserv. I'm
sure VRT members will be interested in your response.
Media Resources Center
"Movies are poems, a holy bible, the great mother of us."
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