Re: Use of Rented Videotapes

Jim Scholtz (
Mon, 21 Dec 1998 07:34:19 -0800 (PST)

Hi Robin, I'm not real sure I follow your logic on this. Videos fall
within the First-sale Doctrine, allowing legally purchased copies to be
purchased, rented and/or loaned (this makes rentals from videostores and
libraries legal). Usually, a rental agreement (if you signed one
originally at the store) doesn't indicate much about use - it may say
something about being fiscally liable for damages and overdue/late fines
but probably doesn't cover unauthorized use. Both fair-use and the
teaching exemption apply to legally acquired copies which a rented video is
(bad grammer here!). However, when a teacher rents a video from a store,
the rental is probably 1-3 days max, Facets (probably 7-14 days) and the
renter (teacher) is liable for any damages/late fines. Therefore, if the
video is damaged in use (at the library/home) - who is responsible for that
damage? - the teacher ultimately. In the days of 16mm film and
high-priced leased videos, the teacher would make arrangements for rental
through the school/library and the item placed on reserve. (that's the way
we did it). The item never left the campus/library and was at most on
2-hour reserve. The library covered any costs of damages, but also
orchestrated receipt/return of the media. If you are going to allow
teachers to put videostore rentals on reserve, I would have them sign a
waiver each time, stating that the teacher is liable for all late
fees/overdues due to this particular reserve and that they are responsible
for its safe return to the videostore. I would log/in/out the video upon
original receipt and subsequent uses. I would also only allow use in
library - except for the teacher who originally used it. Jim Scholtz,
Yankton Community Library.

At 01:34 PM 12/18/98 -0800, you wrote:
>Hi All,
>I'm wondering what people think about contractual agreements with video
>rental stores (e.g. Blockbuster, West Coast Video, etc.) as they apply to
>teachers wanting to use rented videos in classes and/or put these videos on
>reserve in the library. It has been said that such agreements might limit
>display of home use videos to very restrictive uses and take precedence
>over copyright guidelines such as the classroom face-to face teaching
>How do libaries that currently put rented videotapes on reserve respond to
>Any help would certainly be appreciated.
>Thanks in advance for your input.
>Robin G. Feinland E-mail:
>Kresge Center for Teaching Resources Phone: (617) 349-8863
>Ludcke Library Fax: (617)
>Lesley College
>30 Mellen Street
>Cambridge, MA 02138