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Copyright 101: Videos and Streaming

Information on Copyright laws and Fair Use guideliines


The following is an excerpt from the Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws (Tıtle 17), chapter 1, section 110 (1),

[T]he following are not infringements of copyright... performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils 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 under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made;

For Instructors:
​It should be noted that showing a film in a "classroom or similar place devoted to instruction" is not the same a showing a film "publicly" which must have permission of the copyright owner to do so. If you are interested in obtaining permission, please refer to Circular 16A: How to Obtain Permission. Also, streaming rights can be obtained. When making a request for the library to purchase a film, indicate that you want the library to purchase streaming rights on the Film Purchase Request Form.

Guidelines for Off-air Recordings of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes

The following excepts are reprinted from the Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians (Section F, Page 23-24).

1. The guidelines were developed to apply only to off-air recording by non-profit educational institutions. 

2. A broadcast program may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable transmission) and retained by a non-profit educational institution for a period not to exceed the first forty-five (45) consecutive calendar days after date of recording. Upon conclusion of such retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately.

Definition: “Broadcast programs” are television programs transmitted by television stations for reception by the general public without charge. 

3. Off-air recordings may be used once by individual teachers in the course of relevant teaching activities, and repeated once only when instructional reinforcement is necessary, in classrooms and similar places devoted to instruction within a single building, cluster, or campus, as well as in the homes of students receiving formalized home instruction, during the first ten (10) consecutive school days in the forty-five (45) day calendar day retention period.

Definition: “School days” are school session days—not counting weekends, holidays, vacations, examination periods, or other scheduled interruptions—within the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period. 

4. Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of, and used by, individual teachers, and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests. No broadcast program may be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast. 

5. A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet the legitimate needs of teachers under these guidelines. Each such additional copy shall be subject to all provisions governing the original recording. 

6. After the first ten (10) consecutive school days, off-air recording may be used up to the end of the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period only for teacher evaluation purposes, i.e., to determine whether or not to include the broadcast program in the teaching curriculum, and may not be used in the recording institution for student exhibition or any other non-evaluation purpose without authorization. 

7. Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs may not be altered from their original content. Off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations. 

8. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded. 

9. Educational institutions are expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain the integrity of these guidelines

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