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

From: Alex O. Williams <alex@typecastfilms.com>
Date: Tue Nov 03 2009 - 10:39:27 PST

Hi Deg,

I (and the law, it seems) agree with Jessica. I see how they're trying to
get around acquiring PPR, but their arguments don't really make sense
legally. Here's my take:

If the students had

1). limited the screenings only to group members; [and who are the group
members? that's like saying "screenings will be limited only to the people
who are interested in the film and who show up to watch it."]

2). held the screenings in a smaller, controlled access space; [the size of
the room where they show the films doesn't matter. Showing films in a really
small movie theater on campus that only has one door doesn't mean you don't
need PPR.]

3). not advertised the screenings; [How can they start a film society group
and not advertise the screenings? Is the person in charge planning to watch
a home video DVD copy alone somewhere in hopes that other cinema lovers show
up by chance?]

4). used the films for the purpose of "...criticism, comment, news
reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research." (US CODE: Title 17 section
107) [As I understand it, this would be OK for face-to-face teacher/student
classroom use, but not a cinema club. Just because the audience might learn
something from the film and want to talk about it afterwards doesn't make it
a non-public screening.]

5). published their criticism, comment, reporting, or research, to prove
that was indeed their true purpose; [Same as above. But at least this would
make it easier for the film's rights-holder to catch them.]

then they would have been on solid ground.

_________________
Alex O. Williams
Institutional Sales

AFD / Typecast Films
Seattle, WA . USA
ph: 206.322.0882 x.202 | fx: 206.322.4586

arabfilm.com | typecastfilms.com

On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 12:37 PM, Deg Farrelly <deg.farrelly@asu.edu> wrote:

> I responded to a discussion about college/university film societies on
> another list serve by referencing the Illinois State University/New Yorker
> Films situation from 2006.
>
> My comments resulted in a response I think is totally off-base and
> misguided, but somehow I cannot find the words or arguments to counter.
>
> I'm copying the thread here: query, my response, the reply to my response.
> I'm not necessarily looking for definitive answers from this group, but
> would enjoy hearing others' takes on the questions raised.
>
> Please consider using selective copy/paste in your responses instead of a
> reply that recopies the entire thread.
>
> Thanx.
>
> -deg
>
> --
> deg farrelly, Associate Librarian
> Arizona State University at the West campus
> PO Box 37100
> Phoenix, Arizona 85069-7100
> Phone: 602.543.8522
> Email: deg.farrelly@asu.edu
>
>
> 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;
>
> then they would have been on solid ground.
>
> Unfortunately, most college presidents hear of this case and rather than
> hear the nuance of the case and ban film societies and all screenings.
> There is still the fair use clause in the copyright law and the shield
> would apply here. Colleges really need to invest in a copyright lawyer to
> help them in such cases.
>
>

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Received on Tue Nov 3 10:39:50 2009

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