RE: [Videolib] question on copyrights

Hornbeck, Patty (
Wed, 22 Feb 2006 11:26:00 -0500

In the early eighties most classroom viewings -- of educational and feature films -- had to be arranged well ahead of time and rented on 16 or 35mm. Those of us (myself included) who decry pay-per-use as a model for academic viewing tend to forget that that's the way it was before the easy availability of video and DVD.
Patricia Hornbeck
Media Resources Development Coordinator
Middlebury College
Library and Information Services/#212
Middlebury, VT 05753

(802)443-2268 phone
(802)443-5698 fax

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Jessica
Sent: Wed, February 22, 2006 10:12 AM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] question on copyrights

It is different both practically and legally. Frankly if you want the total
convenience of any student being able to watch a film at any time in
as one media person once said to me referring to closed circuit system
"in the convenience of their dorm room" you are going to have to pay for it.
However in many, many cases it won't be available at any price due to issues
I have mentioned in previous posts. Frankly physical copies have accepted
built in limitations. You might need more than one to meet demand, you will
almost inevitably have to replace a lost or damaged copy, bottom line is
that over time it might cost you more than the $20 you paid for a copy. What
You want is to pay $20 for a film, digitize a copy and have it forever and
make available to any student or prof who needs it in conjunction with an
academic activity. There may of course be a middle ground here in which
You might pay say a whopping $20 a year to do this but even that means
that those rights have to available for purchase and for many films they
are not and in some important cases may never be. And again per my previous
post if it were legal to digitize a whole feature film for streaming there
would be no difference between a copy you bought from a distributor and a
copy you took out of video store, got from Netflix or borrowed on
interlibrary loan. I don't know of any small company selling what I will
call retail feature films that could survive if this were so.

On a much more important topic

GO CUBS ( shoot me Gary , Spring Training started and Susan roots for the
Right team)

On 2/22/06 9:55 AM, "Susan Albrecht" <> wrote:

> I think the question, though, Jessica, is why is it WORSE to stream a film
> **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 have
> 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. Streaming
> 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 my
> head a little here about why this is worse than the old-fashioned reserve
> system.
> Again, if the film were streamed into a classroom, it's no different than
> 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 into
> sales; the institution still has to buy the original copy that it's going
> to stream. Maybe I'm giving away my position at a very small institution
> in this response, though, and you're really thinking of large universities?
> 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 streaming
>> an an entire dramatic film WITHOUT the copyright holders permission. I think
>> this goes against decades of accepted copyright and assumes that if you only
>> 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 under
>> 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 always
>> like to respond in these cases is that if you feel this IS legal and covered
>> 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 big
>> fan of how Disney and over major studios handle stuff , the truth is small
>> companies like Kino don't have the resources for much legal action ( though
>> we have taken some none at this point has been against an academic
>> institution).
>> 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 average
>> Kino film costs $30 and most are bought by wholesalers at a steep discount
>> If Kino sells a copy of Metropolis for $17 to a school that buys it from
>> Ingram or Amazon etc and then streams it to classes all over its entire
>> system we simply can't survive. We expect for instance different campuses of
>> an institution to buy their own copy ( though can always interlibrary loan)
>> 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 digitized
>> that for streaming? I assume you can see the problem. Now I think we are
>> more than open to working with schools on streaming when we have rights and
>> can have some limits on the terms. There was an old joke by Goddard that
>> 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 can
>> 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 have
>> allowed several schools that have closed circuit campus systems to use our
>> films AT NO EXTRA charge if it is just being sent to a single class but this
>> is a lot different from giving unlimited access to both classes and students
>> in those classes.
>> It is already difficult and getting harder by the day to put out ANY small
>> film on DVD. There are so many wonderful foreign & classic films we COULD
>> put out if only we knew enough people would buy them. While streaming should
>> theoretically be some kind of additional revenue stream under your scenario
>> it would almost certainly be the death of putting any of these films out.
>> As it stands I doubt we will ever put out another African film and I can't
>> 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 what
>> They need but suggesting that schools can digitize whole films without
>> compensation to rights holders is almost guaranteed to make fewer and fewer
>> 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
> x6216
> ******************************************************************************
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> "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."--Neil Peart
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Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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