Re: Electronic reserves & audio & video clips

Gary Handman (
Thu, 3 Sep 1998 13:28:16 -0700


It seems to me that there is absolutely NO leg to stand on, legally or
otherwise, as far as putting up reserve viewing clips (a derivative work is
a derivative work). As we all know, the rules for the print domain are
substantially different from the moving image and sound the
latter case, neither the current copyright law nor the detestable CCUMC
multimedia fair use guidelines (nor the abortive CONFU draft guidelines on
reserves) would seem to offer even the slightest crack into which to wedge
such an enterprise.

The exceptions would, of course, be clips of items owned by your
institution, items clearly identifiable as PD (good luck!), or stuff for
which permission has been secured.

At UCB, we're going to start experimenting with putting up compendia of
streamed clips using stuff which we know is "safe" and to limit these to
the domain. Don't think I'd be willing to step too far
outside of these bounds at present.

Even if video could be tucked into the same legal niche as print reserves,
there's still the issue of retention to be faced: in theory, print
reserves are permitted because of the notion that the material is needed in
short order--that use of this material has the element of spontaneity which
would be shot by having to first secure permissions. That's why keeping
stuff indefinitely on reserve (or at least on reserve for multiple
semesters) is a "no." Now, just think of the work it's gonna take to edit,
digitize and mount video clips. You really gonna want to scrap all this
work after one or two semesters; I don't think so.

I'd be very interested in learning about how your project is going, or if
you come across opinion or information which runs contrary to my spoutings


Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld