Re: [Videolib] Comments from this august group re: College/University film societies

From: Shoaf,Judith P <jshoaf@ufl.edu>
Date: Tue Nov 03 2009 - 07:49:18 PST

If the students had

1). limited the screenings only to group members;
2). held the screenings in a smaller, controlled access space;
3). not advertised the screenings;
4). used the films for the purpose of "...criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research." (US CODE: Title 17 section 107)
5). published their criticism, comment, reporting, or research, to prove that was indeed their true purpose;

--they might not have gotten caught. In my opinion, that's the bottom line and it relates to #3: if they had not advertised the showings, what they did would have been illegal but they would not have gotten caught.

The justification in 1-2 reminds me of some kind of regulation they used to have for Janus films when we had a film club in 1971 (you could only show it to club members).

#4 refers to fair use, i.e. the use or quotation of a small portion of a work in criticism, comment, etc. #5 seems to have been pulled out of thin air. The only situation in which fair use allows the viewing of an entire film is in face-to-face teaching of a class for credit, in a situation where viewing is restricted to enrolled students. A club, even with an instructor present, does not qualify.

And I am sympathetic to one of the uses at Illinois (which was basically a class viewing of a film in a dorm situation where other students could wander in-and which was advertised on the language lab web site, I think).

Judy Shoaf

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Received on Tue Nov 3 07:49:44 2009

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