DVD viewing

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  • Do DVDs need to be purchased by the school (media specialist), in order to show them at the school?

    Also, I have had a few teachers "donate" DVDs to the media center that go along with their curriculum. Am I able to accept these and add them to my collection?

  • No they do not need to be purchased by the library, they just need to be legal copies. Films can be rented and shown in class also. Acceptance of donations would fall under school policy, not copyright. As long as they are not 'homemade' copies, then you can accept them. 

  • I agree with williamsonl! You'll find the applicable statute here (17 usc 110(1)): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/110. Essentially, it states that the "performance [of a videorecording] 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" is not an infringment of copyright "unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance...is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made...[or]...that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made."

    Donated copies could also be used under this statute as well. Do check first though to see what the school's policy is in regards to donations!

    It's important to note that t110(1) generally applies to instructional situations and would likely not cover public perfromacnes of a film made for entertainment purposes, e.g. a screening of Frozen for students held in the auditorium or gym as a reward for good behavior or a "family movie night" school event. For events such as this you may need to look to other portions of the law (e.g. fair use (17 USC 107) or obtain a licnese for the use.


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