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These might be a start:

1) Here's a sample letter template: http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Internet/permissionform.html

2) classroom request form: http://www.nacs.org/common/copyright/permissionrequest.pdf

Does anyone have advice about how to go about getting digitized rights to encode VHS/DVD media owned by a school to place on a media managment system?

Do you have any more updates for this topic?

My district is under the impression that we can make a digital copy of each DVD and VHS tape owned throughout the district to put on the VBrick system as long as we lock the originals away, and only allow access to individual videos "one at a time". The VBrick sales rep has assured our tech director that this is perfectly legal (sense a trend?).

Mary, I am going to agree with Carlos on this one. It looks to me like VBrick is only telling part of the story.

I am quite willing to believe that VBrick can meet the technical requirements included in the TEACH Act - namely that reception is limited to students enrolled in a class, and that there are reasonable technical measures in place to prevent retention or further dissemination of the content.

What they are less clear about, however, is that you would need to have the permission of the copyright owner in order to be able to build a video-on-demand library. Their Education brochure says that many of their clients have digitized their entire media libraries and provide access to them in every classroom on demand. They link this to a mention that they are TEACH Act compliant, suggesting that the TEACH Act would authorize this, when in fact it expressly does not authorize the general digitization of media libraries.

To build a digital media library, you need the permission of the copyright owner. Most do not allow this. PBS's educational license, for example, has this to say: "Programs MAY NOT be distributed through any wide access network (i.e., open cable, broadcast, LAN, Web, etc.), digitized, and/or placed on a digital server without the prior express written permission of PBS VIDEO." (http://teacher.shop.pbs.org/helpdesk/index.jsp?display=shopping&subdisplay=purchMO)

So VBrick is probably fine if you own the content or want to put up short segments for specific classes. And it is probably fine if you want to make digital online libraries of content whose copyright you own or for which you have licensed LAN distribution rights. But I'd be uncomfortable if any media center thought it could put all of its holdings into VBrick without getting additional permissions.

Mary- I've looked at it a little bit. I can put you in contact with persons from Texas school districts/regions who have been contacted by VBrick.

Based on what those educators told me, I am very skeptical of some of the copyright-related claims that salespersons have made regarding the legality of certain uses. Those claims go far beyond the uses in the Teach Act article above. Additionally, the salespersons ignored licenses that the districts had to comply with. I've asked the persons to follow up with more questions- I strongly suspect that this was a case where the salesperson was not familiar with the law at all.

Hi Mary,

VBrick's EtherneTV solutions have been certified as "Teach Act Compliant" (http://www.vbrick.com/news/index.asp?ItemID=249&rcid=71&pcid=70&cid=71), providing the necessary protections and tools to ensure that the copyrighted material is delivered for the use it was intended.

This certification was provided by the Dow, Lohnes & Albertson firm in Washington, DC (www.dowlohnes.com).

This is of course our view - it would be great to hear from actual users and their experience.

Hope this helps.

-Bob Oakley
VBrick Marketing

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