Re: individual patrons & pub. perf. rights

Wendy L. Young (
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 07:35:48 CST

Our library has a file a foot thick on this one...and have chosen to
abide by the stricter interpretation to cover ourselves. We do not
purchase any videotapes without public performance rights. As a
state agency with public funding it's necessary for us to take the
safe route. We have not found it a problem to purchase videotapes in
the manner and it seems to cover us on all bases at present. Hope
this wells.

Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 17:52:21 -0700
From: (Gary Huggins)
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: individual patrons & pub. perf. rights

Has anyone done any research on the issue of public performance rights and
individual, in-library carrel video viewing? In a recent "Video Librarian" Randy
Pitman states categorically that "a patron cannot, I repeat, cannot, watch a
video that does not include public performance rights on library premises"; he
also mentions "the famous ALA interpretation of copyright law which argued that
in-library carrel showings were perfectly legal".

So which is it? Does it come down to which interpretation one chooses to listen
to? I'm referring to a single patron watching a video, alone, in a setting where
no one else can see the screen - no group showings.

Is anyone aware of a final word on the subject? And can anyone whose library has
rejected the ALA interpretation in favor of a stricter application of public pe
rformance rights give me a little information of how they've gone about it? Do y
ou determine the rights of each film in your collection, or limit viewing to a c
ertain number of pre-determined titles, etc.?

Thanks -

Gary Huggins

gary l. huggins phone: 1-913 551-3280 ext. 210
circulation assistant
kansas city, kansas public library email:
625 minnesota avenue
kansas city, ks 66101-2805

Wendy L. Young
Media Services Librarian
UW-Milwaukee, Golda Meir Library
2311 E. Hartford Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211

"May the force be with you...."