RE: [Videolib] question on copyrights

Brewer, Michael (
Wed, 22 Feb 2006 08:58:37 -0700


What are others' thoughts about fair use and weighing of the 4 factors?
Jessica seems to believe that if one factor weighs against the use (I
would not call that a violation), then that nixes fair use. This does
not seem a widely held conviction to me (nor supported by the law), but
I wanted to check with others.

I do agree with her point that the digitizing, or using of borrowed
copies for fair use purposes would be a problem. However, if one weighs
each case individually, as one should, then this would weigh against the
effect of the use, and might tip the scales against fair use.
Otherwise, the use would be identical, in effect, as it would were the
item owned by the library and just put on reserve. My sense is that
effect is really the critical factor in this debate (for streaming
entire films as long as the use is limited to a class or a restricted
population for educational purposes and is password protected and
streamed). If the use negatively affects the copyright holder, it is
probably not a fair use. However, in many cases I don't see that
negative effect (and have yet to understand what it would be, except for
in the situation Jessica described with not owning the copy).


Michael Brewer
Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
University of Arizona Library A210
1510 E. University
P.O. Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721
Voice: 520.307.2771
Fax: 520.621.9733

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Susan
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 7:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] question on copyrights

I think the question, though, Jessica, is why is it WORSE to stream a
**that the institution owns** and then password protect it and make it
available to only a particular class of students, than it would be to
it on reserve? (There is no argument, correct?, that it's okay to place

any video a library owns on reserve?) IOW, what most of us have done in

the past is take that VHS or DVD that we *own* and place it on
reserve. The students in that class would have to come into the library

during the hours that we're open, check it out and view it here.
and making it available, on a restricted basis, only changes the WAY in
which those same students view the film. In the streaming situation, no

fewer copies of the film are being purchased. So I guess I'm scratching
head a little here about why this is worse than the old-fashioned

Again, if the film were streamed into a classroom, it's no different
the faculty member swinging by the library, checking out the video and
showing it in his/her classroom. I just don't see why this would cut
sales; the institution still has to buy the original copy that it's
to stream. Maybe I'm giving away my position at a very small
in this response, though, and you're really thinking of large

Susan at Wabash

At 04:20 PM 2/21/2006 -0500, you wrote:
>I too appreciate the discussion but do think it is more than a stretch
>and potentially dangerous to suggest that fair use would allow the
>an an entire dramatic film WITHOUT the copyright holders permission. I
>this goes against decades of accepted copyright and assumes that if you
>violate ONE element of the 4 factors listed for Fair Use it is OK.
Taken to
>its extreme it would also allow to digitize and stream whole books
>copyright without permission etc. I don't think the idea of 3 minutes
or no
>more than 10 percent of a work was developed out of thin air. What I
>like to respond in these cases is that if you feel this IS legal and
>than you should have the courage of your convictions and contact the
>copyright holder be it Kino or Disney and tell them that this is your
>understanding of the law and you are going to do it. While I am not a
>fan of how Disney and over major studios handle stuff , the truth is
>companies like Kino don't have the resources for much legal action (
>we have taken some none at this point has been against an academic
>As for what a company would "lose" if its films are streamed into a
>classroom, the simple answer is the revenue we need to survive. The
>Kino film costs $30 and most are bought by wholesalers at a steep
>If Kino sells a copy of Metropolis for $17 to a school that buys it
>Ingram or Amazon etc and then streams it to classes all over its
>system we simply can't survive. We expect for instance different
campuses of
>an institution to buy their own copy ( though can always interlibrary
>and on very popular films a school might buy a few copies. What if the
>school just borrowed a legal copy from the local rental store and
>that for streaming? I assume you can see the problem. Now I think we
>more than open to working with schools on streaming when we have rights
>can have some limits on the terms. There was an old joke by Goddard
>eventually Hollywood would just make one film a year and everyone would
>watch that, well my fear of the slippery slope of thinking that you
>digitize whole films under "Fair Use" is that some day everyone will
want to
>digitize it from the SAME copy.
>For the record I personally take a liberal view of these things and
>allowed several schools that have closed circuit campus systems to use
>films AT NO EXTRA charge if it is just being sent to a single class but
>is a lot different from giving unlimited access to both classes and
>in those classes.
>It is already difficult and getting harder by the day to put out ANY
>film on DVD. There are so many wonderful foreign & classic films we
>put out if only we knew enough people would buy them. While streaming
>theoretically be some kind of additional revenue stream under your
>it would almost certainly be the death of putting any of these films
>As it stands I doubt we will ever put out another African film and I
>get Kino to release the 3 silent films by women directors that I
produced on
>video on ONE DVD for $30 because their is not enough of a market. I
>understand we really all want to work together so that everyone gets
>They need but suggesting that schools can digitize whole films without
>compensation to rights holders is almost guaranteed to make fewer and
>small films legally available
>OK long rant sorry still jet lagged
>Because of lack of market

Susan Albrecht
Acquisitions Coordinator
Wabash College Lilly Library
Crawfordsville, IN

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."--Neil Peart

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