[Videolib] Sarah's post on digital streaming

Carrie Russell (crussell@alawash.org)
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 13:34:09 -0400

Just a few comments on Sarah's recent post. See below....

Message: 3
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 12:36:18 -0400
From: "Sarah McCleskey" <Sarah.E.McCleskey@hofstra.edu>

I really don't understand Farhad's comment "What I'm not convinced yet
is the difference between "face-to-face" traditional classrooms with the
instructor present vs. a log-in protected online classroom (access by
students registered for that class only)"

I think there is a huge difference, namely that face-to-face in a
traditional classroom is 100% legal and restricted access streaming an
entire audiovisual work to students in an online classroom is not 100%
legal. It's just not. It's not fair use, it's not face to face, it's
not covered by TEACH, so what makes you think it's okay?

******I can perfectly understand Farhad's comment that he sees no
difference between F2F and protected streaming because I believe that
user's rights to information and the use of protected works should not
be different in digital world than they are in an analog environment.
Why should they be different?

Congress made a decision to make them different (in the law) but they
did not have to. In fact, there is no public policy justification for
creating a difference. Both screenings are secure. Films were lawfully
Sometimes Congress passes laws that are stupid. *******

I recently read something from a librarian at an academic institution
(not mine) that has the capability to stream an (entire) video to one
student at a time. She contended that because they were streaming to
one user at a time, it was no different from having a video in the
library that one student could look at. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT????? Does
anyone on this list BELIEVE THAT?

**** Sounds like a pretty good argument to me. There is no public
performance. Rights holders have exclusive rights to public
performances not private performances. Do you believe that an additional
fee should be paid when you watch DVDs at home? One could argue that
educational individual performances "grow" to be public performances
because eventually everyone in the class sees the film. But we have
never said that private performances of videos checked out of the
library add up to a public performance. ****

Here's another story I have to add. Our School of Ed. conducts seminars
that all students have to take to receive their teacher certification,
such as fire safety and school violence. They are converting these
seminars to the Blackboard environment, and wanted to use an entire (17
minute) video on school violence. Of course they tried to tell me they
could do it without getting rights, and I said no, you can't, let me see
about getting those rights for you. So I called up the company, who
said this was their first such request but they were delighted to give
me a quote. They wanted $1500/year or $5000 perpetual to stream this
video. The School of Ed. has decided to make their own videos instead,
because of this price for the streaming rights. I thought this cost was
WAY out of line, but as I said, this was the first request the company
had for something like that, and so I can't really blame them for just
pulling a number out of ... well, you know.

***this extreme quote is a good example of copyright misuse. Such an
unreasonable fee goes well beyond the statutory monopoly that rights
holders enjoy.****

My two cents
Carrie Russell, Copyright Specialist and
Director, Program on Public Access to Information
ALA Washington Office
Office for Information Technology Policy
1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW First Floor
Washington, DC 20009

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.