Video Reserves and Copyright infringement

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  • I did my best to see if this topic had all ready been posted, but I did not see something that answered my specific questions. Here is my situation:
    A film appreciation professor has purchased her own DVDs for the course. She has asked the library to place them on reserve so that students who have missed class may come in and watch them in the library. Until recently, we have accomedate her, but some of us have began to question the legality of this practice.

    Is it acceptable for us to have her personal videos on reserve semester after semester for in library use? Additionally, the professor barrows them during class time in order for classroom use. Is this acceptable?

    This issue has sparked some unrest with among staff (some agree, some do not) and the profersor and I am attempting to determine the correct course of action or what suggestions we can offer the instructor.
  • Once the professor has purchased a legal copy of the film, she may re-distribute that particular copy as she wishes. See section 109 of the Copyright Act. This includes loaning that copy to anyone she likes, including to her students through the library reserve system. She can also show the film in a face-to-face class based on the public performance exception in section 110(1).

    The use of an original copy of a work on reserve semester after semester is not a problem either. The rule that some schools follow about repeated use applies only to copies made of an original; it is an attempt to understand fair use for that situation. No need to rely on fair use when the only copy involved is the legally purchased original.

    No reason I can see not to continue to accommodate this professor.

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