[Videolib] Ok I FOUND the ALA handout on "movie night"

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Wed, 08 Aug 2007 13:44:16 -0400

It is headlined
SHOWING MOVIES IN THE LIBRARY? IS THIS LEGAL

I can't type the whole thing in but here is a summery with some quotes

It starts with a question if a fictional library wants to show DVDs for
A movie night
The answer is that this is public performance "an exclusive right of the
copyright holder" and "Technically " Lily ( the librarian in question)
Would be violating copyright and the copyright holder could take her to
court

Next section is WHAT SHOULD LILY DO?

It advices " IN GENERAL Lily should obtain public performance rights when
showing movies to the public and should try to contract the right holder
etc.

However it then goes on to say

"Movie night" at the public library is not unusual- many libraries have
these types of events. No Library has been taken to court for copyright
infringement ( that we know of). We could speculate that copyright holders
are not interested in pursuing a court case because of the expense of
litigation or because they feel movie night does not significantly harm
their market or because they figure these screenings are fair uses"...
If Movie Night is a widespread occurrence in public libraries PERHAPS (
their emphasis) it has also "shaped" the law by being an infringing activity
the law ALLOW but does not punish"

The one ACCURATE thing about the above is that of course companies don't
want to go to the expense of litigation. Silly us we are relying on
libraries to protect our copyright . This official document of ALA is in
essence saying go ahead and violate copyright because no one will catch you
and they can't afford to sue you.
In fairness to libraries and librarians I don't think ILLEGAL movie nights
are that wide spread but this sure does not help

This document was prepared by the ALA office of Information Technology
Policy and handed out at the conference in 2005 ( and was at least at one
time also on the web site)
So if you want to know why I have some concerns about ALA giving proper
information on PPR and protecting rights that is it.


Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com
212-629-6880

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.