Copyright Question

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chris Bardon, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I was wondering if someone more versed in copyright might be able to answer this. I know that the laws are different almost everywhere, but I think that there are enough parallels to make things relevant.

    I was talking with someone about courses she was taking at University, and they mentioned a couple of film courses. From there we go to discussing rights for films, and how in another course she took on pop culture, copyright law prevented the prof from showing relevant TV clips. This got me thinking about the law, and I was wondering why this was even an issue.

    If a prof wants to read a class an except from a book-or even an entire book-they are free to do so without any clearances, rights, or fees, provided that they credit the source. Why is this not the same for other media? What is it about movies and television that makes it so that they cannot be used in an educational context like this? Is it just that the people who make movies, music, and TV have better lawyers?

    Am I completely off base on something here?
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Well, for one thing the reading of a book is not a "record" of the book. If someone were to record that reading then there would probably be an issue. Copyright concerns created works.

    As far as why the laws are as they are, then that's a little tougher. I'm sure a copyright lawyer would be able to explain the motivations behind the laws, having read the documents surrounding the rulings. I think copyright around off-air recordings is more stringent in general because there is the assumption that those works are available in other, purchaseable forms (though we know this is only beginning to become true) or people will have some opportunity to see the show at another time.
     
  3. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I think it has to do with public performance of a work. It might involve different rules for different mediums. In the same way that radio broadcasters don't have to pay labels for the use of their music, but satellite and Internet companies do. At my school (big, well known), we publically screened DVDs all the time. The teacher didn't care.
     
  4. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > From there we go to discussing rights for films, and how in another course she took on pop culture, copyright law prevented the prof from showing relevant TV clips



    Interesting. We were shown movies at school. I don't remember it being an issue. I would think educational purposes would fall under fair use. A school doesn't seem like public performance, unless it's one of those movie night deals where the public is allowed in.

    Also, I seem to remember that if we read parts of a play aloud in an English class, that was educational and no royalties paid, but if the play was performed for an audience, then royalties had to be paid. So what I said about movies seems consistent. But then logic and law don't often go together.

    I know we studied song lyrics in English class under the guise of it being poetry, but I doubt anyone asked for permission or paid fees for that.
     
  5. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    This is taken from guidelines on copyright provided to educational staff and faculty:

    Guidelines for Use of Prerecorded Tapes Rented from Video Outlets

    This is both a copyright and a licensing issue. A number of videotape supply companies and the Motion Picture Association of America are beginning to rigorously enforce these regulations. It is important that district personnel not only be aware of the regulations, but also be able to defend their use of these rented and purchased videotapes in light of the current law.

    1. The sales of prerecorded videocassettes and videodiscs do not confer any public or performance rights upon the purchaser.

    2. Public or performance rights are conveyed only through purchase of a separate license from the copyright owner. It is a violation of federal law to exhibit prerecorded videocassettes and videodiscs beyond the scope of the family and social acquaintances — regardless of whether or not admission is charged. Ownership of videocassettes and videodiscs does not constitute ownership of copyright. There is, however, an exception to the above arising from Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law. This section of the law authorizes a wide variety of performances and displays in face-to-face teaching, but there are important limitations.

    1. The copies must be legitimate copies, that is, either purchased from legitimate sources or leased from a licensed distributor.

    2. The performances and displays must take place in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.

    3. The performances and displays must be part of a systematic course of instruction and NOT FOR ENTERTAINMENT, RECREATION OR CULTURAL VALUE.

    4. The performances and displays must be given by the instructors or pupils.

    5. The performances and displays must be given in the classroom or other place devoted to instruction and not transmitted to broadcast or cable television.

    6. The performances and displays must be part of the teaching activities of a non-profit educational
    institution.

    7. The performances and displays are limited to instructors, pupils and guest lecturers.

    USING COPYRIGHTED VIDEOTAPES

    A TEACHER MAY:
    © use in face-to-face instruction a videocassette PURCHASED BY THE SCHOOL even though it bears a warning label FOR HOME USE ONLY.The key is that the tape is INCORPORATED AS PART OF THE SYSTEMATIC TEACHING activities of the program in which it is being used.

    © use for instructional purposes a RENTAL VIDEOCASSETTE bearing the FOR HOME USE ONLY label if the school has obtained a release statement from the rental agency granting permission for instructional use of the program.

    A TEACHER MAY NOT: (without express written permission from copyright owner)

    - use either a purchased or rental video program labelled FOR HOME USE ONLY in other than planned, direct, instructional activities. The program may NOT be used for entertainment, fundraisers, nor time-fillers. Any use, other than instructional,must be negotiated at the time or purchase or rental, usually in the form of a licensing agreement.

    - make an archival or back-up copy of a copyrighted film or tape.
     

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