Rice-Aron Library Film Copyright Guidelines
It is against copyright to use library, rented, or personal videotapes for non-academic viewings without purchasing a license agreement. Videos have a limited amount of times they can be viewed for academic use. For more information, please see below.
Academic viewings include the following:
Classroom Use of Videotapes
Classroom use of a copyrighted video is permissible only when all of the following conditions are met:
- The performance must be by instructors or by pupils.
- The performance is in connection with face-to-face teaching activities.
- The entire audience is involved in the teaching activity.
- The entire audience is in the same room or same general area.
- The teaching activities are conducted by a non-profit education institution.
- The performance takes place in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.
- The person responsible for the performance has no reason to believe that the videotape was unlawfully made.
Public viewings include showing videos in the dining hall, etc. for entertainment or groups that include people not in the class. All public viewing must obtain licenses to obey copyright law.
The college would incur civil penalties if we were to be found to be in violation. The civil penalties for copyright infringement include actual losses sustained by the copyright owner as the result of the infringement as well as attorney fees. (see: § 1203. Civil remedies)
To purchase a film license tryThe Copyright Clearinghouse Center or contact MPLC directly with any questions (including license fee quote requests) at phone number 800-462-8855 (or 310-822-8855), or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. See the web site of the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC), which includes a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) as well as an explanation of the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) Umbrella License SM.
Movie Licensing USA is a licensing agent for Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, United Artists and various other independent studios, and provides the Movie Copyright Compliance Site License. Find out more at the web site of Movie Licensing USA. Send all e-mail to Mail@movlic.com.
- May I purchase or rent a film from the local video store and use it in my class?
- Tapes from a video store are labeled "Home Use Only", indicating a licensing agreement with the copyright holder. Nevertheless, use of such tapes is considered "fair use" in a face-to-face teaching situation. Tapes marked "Home Use Only" may also be placed on reserve and viewed if they are used strictly for instructional purposes and not entertainment.
- Is it permissible to make a copy of a rental video or Interlibrary Loan video in order to use it again, later?
- No. That would infringe on the rights licensed to the rental agency or lending library.
- Can an auditorium or other large space be used to show a video labeled "Home Use Only" to a class?
- Yes, the first time, so long as the performance is not open to the public and is for an instructional purpose within the structure of the course. Use for entertainment is prohibited.
- If my teacher or the library owns a videotape, and it has been used in the classroom, can I show it on Nook or Moodle?
- Not unless explicit permission for closed-circuit distribution has been obtained.
- Can a college-owned video be copied for Reserves or for my personal use?
- Not unless permission for the copying has been obtained from the copyright owner.
- May a committee or other group show a video obtained from a local video store?
- No. However, many film/video libraries and distributors offer the required "public performance rights" that are included in a higher rental or purchase fee.
- What if a student rents a video from a video store and views it with a few friends in her dormitory living room?
- Experts disagree! But since access to dormitories is limited to acquaintances of students, this would seem to be comparable to "home use".
- Can a video be made of a film that is out of print and/or deteriorating rapidly?
- Although the film is out of print, permission of the copyright owner is nonetheless required.
- I showed a film in my class in the past and want to show it again. Do I have to get copyright permission?
- Yes, unless the library purchased the film with institutional use.
(excerpt interpreted for Marlboro College from Wellesley College's Copyright Web Page)