Copyright Policy and Resource Guide Media Services and Audiovisual Material
Does purchase of a film or video include ownership of the copyright?
No. As is the case with all other forms of media, ownership of the work itself does not automatically include ownership of the copyright. Exercising the rights of a copyright owner of audiovisual material requires permission as it is required with all other publications. However, there are exceptions to this general rule.
FILMS, VIDEO, LASER, DVD AND CD-ROM
Possession of a film or video does not confer the right to show the work. The copyright owner specifies, at the time of purchase or rental, the circumstances in which a film or video may be "performed." For example, videocassettes from a video rental outlet usually bear a label that specifies "Home Use Only". However, whatever their labeling or licensing, use of these media is permitted in an educational institution so long as certain conditions are met.
Section 110 (1) of the Copyright Act of 1976 specifies that the following is permitted:
Performance or display of a work by instructors or students 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...and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made.
- They must be shown as part of the instructional program.
- They must be shown by students, instructors or guest lecturers.
- They must be shown either in a classroom or other school location devoted to instruction such as a studio, workshop, library, gymnasium, or auditorium if it issued for instruction.
- They must be shown either in a face-to-face setting or where students and teacher(s) are in the same building or general area.
- They must be shown only to students and educators.
- They must be shown using a legitimate (that is, not illegally reproduced) copy with the copyright notice included.
Further, the relationship between the film or video and the course must be explicit. Films or videos, even in a "face-to-face" classroom setting, may not be used for entertainment or recreation, whatever the work's intellectual content.
Use Outside the Classroom
Besides use in classrooms, videocassettes and videodiscs that are owned by the College may ordinarily be viewed by students, faculty or staff at workstations or in small-group rooms in the Media and Technology Center. These videos may also be viewed at home (e.g., in a dorm room), so long as no more than a few friends are involved. Larger audiences, such as groups that might assemble in a residence hall living room, require explicit permission from the copyright owner for "public performance" rights.
Copying Videotapes / Off-Air Recording of Broadcasts, Including Satellite TV
Copying videotapes without the copyright owner's permission is illegal. An exception is made for libraries to replace a work that is lost or damaged if another copy cannot be obtained at a fair price [Section 108 of the Copyright Act of 1976].
Licenses may be obtained for copying and off-air recording. Absent a formal agreement, "Guidelines for Off-the-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes", an official part of the Copyright Act's legislative history, applies to most off-air recording:
- Videotaped recordings may be kept for no more than 45 calendar days after the recording date, at which time the tapes must be erased.
- Videotaped recordings may be shown to students only within the first 10 school days of the 45-day retention period.
- Off-air recordings must be made only at the request of an individual instructor for instructional purposes, not by staff in anticipation of later requests.
- The recordings are to be shown to students no more than two times during the 10-day period, and the second time only for necessary instructional reinforcement.
- The taped recordings may be viewed after the 10-day period only by instructors for evaluation purposes, that is, to determine whether to include the broadcast program in the curriculum in the future.
- If several instructors request videotaping of the same program, duplicate copies are permitted to meet the need; all copies are subject to the same restrictions as the original recording.
- The off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically altered or combined with others to form anthologies, but they need not necessarily be used or shown in their entirety.
- All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.
- These guidelines apply only to nonprofit educational institutions, which are further expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain the integrity of these guidelines.