Re: Indian in the Cupboard ad nauseum

Steve Bliss (
Wed, 31 Jan 1996 23:36:58 -0600

>Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 [17 USCS § 106], the
>following are not infringements of copyright:
>(1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the
>course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational
>institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction,
unless, >in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the
performance, >or the display of individual images, is given by means of a
copy that was not >lawfully made under this title [17 USCS §§ 101
et seq.], and that >the person responsible for the performance knew or had
reason to believe
>was not lawfully made;
Thanks to Stan for quoting the relevant portion of the Copyright Act. I
think you will agree that the above can interpreted pretty broadly, with
language such as "similar place devoted to instruction" etc. I would not
suggest that librarians or teachers are looking to skirt the law; far from
it--most I have met go out of their way to abide by it, even to the point of
restricting all video purchases to those with pp rights explicitly
conferred. Who is going to make the judgement call on whether a particular
use is "instruction" or "entertainment?" The reality is, probably nobody, as
the MPAA is far less interested in busting schools or libraries than
establishments such as bars, restaurants, hotels and, yes, day care centers,
who are in fact benefitting commercially from the use of these products. I'm
not trying to get anyone in trouble, but I think it's possible to be spooked
into being too careful and, as Kristine noted, deny your patrons materials
to which they have a perfectly legal right.

Steve Bliss 800-826-3456 x385
Public Media Home Video 312-878-8406 (fax)
5547 N. Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640