nursing home use of videorecordings

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  • We had a question whether individual use by nursing home patients of library video recordings could be construed as private home use. I suspect that, if the viewing is done in the patient's room, it would be okay, even if the person shares a room.

    That brought up another question, whether an agreement struck in 1990, between 9 major motion picture studios (Warner Bros, Paramount, Columbia, Turner, etc), and the nursing home industry (Nat. Assoc of Activity Professionals, Amer. Assoc. of Homes for the Aging, Amer Health Care Assoc.) allowing the showing of videocassettes to residents of long-term care facilities, still has any bearing. Apparently the original agreement expired in 2001, and I can find no indication that it was extended.

    Is anyone aware of such an agreement that may still be in affect, and whether it would cover DVDs as well? The issue is whether such a long-term care facility could purchase, rent, or borrow recordings of major motion pictures (without public performance licenses) and show them in a common room to a group of residents. I am not aware of any current provision that would provide for such use.

  • I think that this would be more of a licensing issue than a copyright one. I believe that others have posted here about general licenses that can be purchased by institutions. That might be a good way for your institution to go, as well. I'm pretty confident that what you describe (watching in a common room) would be considered a public performance. However, I think that lending videos, whether on DVD or VHS, to residents to watch in their rooms should be ok, even if there were roommates, or even guests. Does anyone have another take on this?

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