Student groups & public performance

Tue, 19 Nov 1996 16:59:38 -0500 (EST)

Hi, folks. Here's a public performance question that I _think_
I know the answer to but thought I'd run it by y'all.

We don't normally circulate videos (out of the media center) to
our students, but we do have a Special Loan Request form they
can fill out to explain why they need something outside of the
library (class presentation, etc.). Today, we had a student
request for a Video Yesteryear tape of "Reefer Madness." He
wanted to take it out of the library in order to show it to
one of the student clubs he belonged to -- essentially an open
showing. We told him no, not on the basis of merit (showing
an appropriately educational film to a recognized group would
be fine if we had the rights), but on the basis of public
performance. Since I'm working on the assumption that public
performance rights on a tape would allow for such a showing
(please correct me if I'm wrong), what happens in the case of
home videos that are not clearly under copyright? Obviously
"Pulp Fiction" couldn't be shown by the group even if it was
for so-called educational purposes, but what about Reefer
Madness? Or what about a documentary released by a "home video"
company? Any thoughts? Better yet, any encounters with such
situations and/or policies to cite?

Thanks --

Jay Rozgonyi
Media Librarian
Ithaca College
Ithaca, NY