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Point of correction / clarification viz a viz Raizel's post:

Section 110 is an outright exemption...so when the conditions in Section 110 are met, it is not an infringement. If the conditions are met, then the user need not figure out whether or not the use is a "fair use." It's already permissible. Section 110 conditions.

If the conditions are not met, or it's not clear that they're met, the user could argue another exemption (see 17 USC 110-122) or argue Section 107, FAIR USE. That is, a FAIR USE Sect. 107 argument can be made above and beyond (not part of) the Sect. 110 argument.

FAIR Use Sect. 107can apply to showing films under the right circumstances, whether in a classroom or not, regardless of license...unless somehow the user signed a license negating fair use. I don't know if video licenses ever do that - electronic resource licenses do. It's not explicit - they just negate any but specified uses. It's not likely that the user signed a license to purchase (rather than lease) the video. Assuming the user did not sign a license provision that squashes Fair Use, the user can make a good faith fair use analysis. Of course one never knows if it's fair use or not until a court has ruled, but if the user is a nonprofit educational institution, and makes a good faith fair use analysis, then no damages ensue, even if infringement is found.


Thanks for bringing this to our attention. While the teacher in this case I think could make a fair use argument, the Section 107 provisions (http://assembler.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000107----000-.html) discussed by Mary are general fair use principles -- often used to make photocopies -- not the separate provision, Section 110 regarding showing videotapes in classrooms.

The issue here is the community members. Unfortunately for those who wish to have an public, albeit educational, screening, copyright law does not specifically designate this "fair use." Schools qualify as public places and therefore require public performance licenses for showing videotapes or DVDs.

However, if the screening could be considered "fair use" under an exemption to copyright (Section 110 of the U. S. Code: http://assembler.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000110----000-.html) when certain conditions are met:

The performance must be presented by instructors or pupils;
The performance must occur in the course of face-to-face teaching;
The entire audience must be involved in the teaching activity;
The performances must take place in a classroom or similar place of instruction in a non-profit educational institution; and
The performance must be of a legally acquired (or legally copied) copy of the work.

For more information, see the ALA's fact sheet: http://www.ala.org/ala/alalibrary/libraryfactsheet/alalibraryfactsheet7.htm

this post from boingboing seems to implicate some of the issues you've mentioned. moreover, it's simply a rather shocking story . . . are you all following this?


Eyes on the Prize rightsholders: teacher may not screen our movie to kids
This is shameful. From the Downhill Battle blog:

The teacher who was planning a February 8th screening of Eyes on the Prize in Vienna, VA for students and community members has been forced to cancel after a threat of lawsuit from the "licensee level". We absolutely cannot believe this - we had never anticipated that anyone would try to stop students and community members from watching a film about the Civil Rights Movement. Apparently, the law firm that contacted them says that the school district does not have the proper licenses. This is really unbelievable-- if there is any fair use, free speech right at all, it applies to screenings of a historical documentary in a school (wikipedia on fair use). This is a public screening in an educational, non-commercial, one-time use setting. Messing with a school district in Virginia is a whole different ballgame, don't you think?

Link (via Waxy)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 02:38:49 PM permalink | blogs' comments

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