Re: [Videolib] Illinois State University Copyright Controversy

Jessica Rosner (
Wed, 08 Feb 2006 17:16:42 -0500

Well some of us small distributors met about this issue generally a few
months ago ( including New Yorker) and frankly legally in my mind this is
not a close call. Basically what had been happening at a number of campuses
was that student film societies just started getting stuff from the store
or wherever, showing films and claiming because they were part of university
This was "educational" A few of them were particularly devious about it.
They would have an academic introduce the film and then say it was part of a
class . When quizzed as to how the students were enrolled in the "class"
what the syllabus was, what requirements there were etc they again demurred
and in one case the openly admitted soliciting people off campus to "enroll
in the classes" I don't know the how this group handled it but the bottom
line Was that there were a lot of student groups openly advertising &
listing films and claiming ( or assuming) that they did not have to pay for
a Public Performance.
The irony in some ways is that it was New Yorker that people want to paint
as some big bad wolf because the revenue they were losing was threatening
their ability to really stay in the non theatrical business. In some ways
It would have been more likely for a SWANK to take this ON but somehow
It was always the groups showing foreign & art films that seemed to do this
(not that Swank does not own many of those).
There is no requirement for a art film group on campus but if students
want to show films publicly they have to pay the rights for it.
I probably owe New Yorker a free lunch for taking the lead in this


> A couple of new items worth reading (apologies if this has already
> been posted):
> "Movie Airings May Be Costly" Bloomington-Normal, Illinois Pantagraph
> 2/8/06
> "ISU faces legal battle from New Yorker Films" Illinois State
> University Daily Vedette 2/3/06
> Isu-Faces.Legal.Battle.From.New.Yorker.Films-1597623.shtml
> To summarize briefly: A student film group at Illinois State
> University has received from New Yorker Films a bill for $8000 for
> past VHS and DVD screenings on campus for which public performance
> rights were not purchased. The film group feels that the screenings
> were part of the educational activities of the University; New Yorker
> begs to differ.
> Matt
> --
> Matt Bailey
> Media Resources Coordinator
> Carleton College Library
> 1 North College Street
> Northfield, MN 55057
> 507-646-7670
> _______________________________________________
> Videolib mailing list

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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