Re: Video in the Classroom

Video Librarian (
Fri, 6 Oct 1995 15:48:44 -0700 (PDT)

Gary makes a good point. There are differences between public, school,
and university collections vis-a-vis the way copyright issues are
handled. I agree that media library administrators in academic situations
should probably be more cautious than in public library situations. How
liable a media librarian actually is in a case where a teacher uses a
program illegally (and there's a whole lot of leeway here) is, I think,
very variable. I've disagreed with Ivan Bender on numerous occasions
(although I'll grant that he's much more of an authority than I on the
subject). While I would not encourage a librarian to knowingly check out
a video that was going to be used by, say, the Elks Club, I'd be
extremely surprised if any legal action could or would come of it. I do
believe in being fair to the copyright holders, but at the same time,
common sense has to reign here. Legally, if Johnny shows "Batman" to his
buddies at his birthday party (without an extortionary site license from
the MPLC), he's breaking the law. It's not the librarian's job to
regulate the actions of 250 million Americans (or, for that matter, offer
them instruction in copyright law). They should, however, make sure that
the law is prominently posted.

Randy Pitman

Video Librarian

On Fri, 6 Oct 1995, Gary Handman wrote:

> Video players ain't photocopiers...I would be verrrry wary of taking the
> "let the viewer beware" approach. Seems to me that it is the firm obligation
> of media facilities administrators to oversee compliance to the copyright
> laws and licensing strictures both in terms of acqusition/preservation/
> duplication of materials AND in terms of how these materials are "performed."
> If you circulate stuff for use outside of the library, it's the responsibility
> of the end-user to do the right thing; if the stuff is used on-site, it's
> yours (Ivan Bender in his mad dog AIME days--before he jumped ship to
> CCUMC--used to imply that even in cases where materials circulate, the
> lender may be liable for infringement if he/she knowingly circulate stuff
> for non-legit uses ["We're wanna check out this copy of 'Thelma & Louise'
> to show at our Elks Club dinner..."
> Anyone else got opinions or inside tracks?
> Gary Handman
> UC Berkeley