[Videolib] FW: digital A/V archive? a copyright matter

From: Cartford, Peter, JCL <CartfordP@jocolibrary.org>
Date: Fri Jul 10 2009 - 10:14:24 PDT

Copyright question:

A staff member here (see below) is proposing that we deal with our DVD theft problem by creating and storing digital copies of DVDs and using those to make replacements. According to him fair use fair use covers such reproduction. I say no, this violates the copyright holder's fundamental rights to reproduce and distribute and that fair use doesn't apply. (If it did, we would have all been doing this for years.)

I think this one's pretty clear cut. Anyone disagree?

Peter Cartford
AV Librarian
Johnson County Library
9875 W. 87th St.
Overland Park, KS 66212
From: Fenton, Kim, JCL
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 9:41 AM
To: Shrock, Matt, JCL; Sendze, Monique, JCL; Barnes, Jason, JCL; Cartford, Peter, JCL; Hile, Mary Anne, JCL; Crane, Rose, JCL; Weeks, Carolyn, JCL
Cc: King, Linda, JCL
Subject: RE: digital A/V archive?

Good Morning All,

Matt Shrock, a page here at Central, has a proposal for us which may indeed save a significant portion of our A/V collections budget. I'm forwarding it to each of you in the hopes that you'll consider his concept-let the debate begin :)

Matt, wonderful job. Beautifully written and well thought through.

I'm anxious to hear everyone's opinions. I feel like it's definitely worth investigating (assuming we haven't done it already and I don't know about it.)

Kim Fenton
Circulation Manager
Johnson County Library
9875 W. 87th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212
Phone (913) 495-2413
Fax (913) 495-2485
From: Shrock, Matt, JCL
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2009 3:33 PM
To: Fenton, Kim, JCL
Subject: digital A/V archive?


     It is my understanding that theft of DVDs has been an ever-increasing problem, despite the recent addition of signage indicating the presence of security cameras. In a single day alone, 25 DVDs were found stolen. With the high costs of replacing these materials in mind, I urge you to consider the following proposal:

     A digital archive could be established within Tech Services and easily integrated within the processing of new materials. Using a single PC workstation and an array of network storage devices, digital copies of DVDs, CDs, and necessary cover art(s) can be stored for backup. To prevent bandwidth and potential security issues, the workstation and network storage can exist on an isolated LAN using high-speed Ethernet. In the event of theft or damage to original materials, archived copies can be reproduced. This solution provides a potential for great long-term cost savings, given the current affordability of storage. Additionally, the use of network storage devices allows the system to be effectively expanded as the collection grows with time.

     U.S. Copyright law permits copying of copyrighted materials under the fair use (section 107) clause. Furthermore, libraries traditionally receive additional leeway in realm of fair use. Fair use is determined on a case-by-case basis, using the following four guidelines to make a determination:

 1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
 2. The nature of the copyrighted work
 3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
 4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

     (full disclosure: this is basically a copy/paste from section 107, no infringement on my part please~)

     This four factor test is used to balance to interests of both consumers and copyright holders; failing one of these tests does not necessarily imply that fair use is not applicable. Within the context of this issue, there are two primary two factors which may impact the fair use determination.

     1. Use is non-profit, but cases exist in which patrons are charged for damages or loss of materials. If this violates fair use, charges could be waived or adjusted to reflect lower replacement costs.

     2. I argue that copyright holders will not be impacted, simply due to the fact that we would still have other copies of these materials in circulation, none of which the copyright holder receives royalties for based upon our circulation of the materials. Furthermore, failure to replace these damaged or lost materials negatively impacts our patrons and our budget, creating an imbalance which can only be resolved by fair use!

     In order to fully comply with fair use, it may be necessary to add an indication that the materials have been reproduced under the fair use clause. This can be achieved either via a physical sticker on the case, or a digital watermark displayed before video playback. Furthermore, it would be wise to archive purchase orders for any materials that are archived using this process.

     I am clearly not a copyright lawyer, but I do have experience with post-DMCA copyright law. In-house legal council should certainly weigh in on the matter, but certainly feel that fair use will apply in this matter.

     If anything is unclear or you have any follow up questions, feel free to fire away.


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.
Received on Fri Jul 10 10:15:00 2009

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