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

From: Shoaf,Judith P <>
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

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 Tue Nov 3 07:49:44 2009

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