Film shown by guest lecturer in classroom

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  • Hi,
    I need some help with this.

    I am a librarian at a Community College. We have a violence prevention program on campus and the coordinator offers presentations on this topic for students. She brings these presentations into any class on campus that requests it. So the student audience may be in psyche 101, english 102, history, art etc. It is not an enrolled class on violence prevention.

    She wants to show a popular culture, Hollywood movie in its entirety to illustrate domestic violence, etc. and generate a discussion.

    I am aware of Section 110(1) of the copyright law, but am unclear on these points:

    1) is she considered a guest lecturer? She is lecturing on content not related to the subject for which those students enrolled in the class. Or does this not matter since we are an academic institution and this is an educational lecture?

    2) I'm uncomfortable with showing the entire movie, as I don't know that you can really make the case that they have to see the entire movie to get the point across. My thinking is a short portion would be better. Or find an educational film that illustrates this.

    The original scenario was that she wanted to show the pop culture movie at a violence prevention event. I told her she'd need to investigate a SWANK license as I saw this as a public performance.

    Thanks for your help.

  • I think that the first step is to determine whether her presentation (her "use") fits under section 110(1). If it does, then she can show the entire movie without getting permission. If her use does not fall under the section 110(1) exception, however, then it is unlikely that she could show the entire movie without a license or other permission from the copyright owner.

    To qualify for the section 110(1) exception, her use would need to meet these criteria:
    1. by instructors or pupils
    2. in the course of teaching activities
    3. face-to-face
    4. a nonprofit educational institution
    5. in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction
    6. copy is lawfully made

    From your description above, it sounds like the only criterion of section 110(1) that she does NOT meet is "in the course of teaching activities," because it sounds like her presentation is not related to the course being taught. If her presentation has no relationship to the course content (students won't be tested on it, won't count toward grade, etc.), then it is doubtful that her performance of the video would fall under section 110(1). My opinion is that if she is doing her presentation for a sociology class on violence in society, her use will be more likely to fall under section 110(1) than if she is doing her presentation for a math class.

    If her use does not fall under section 110(1), I think that she would need a public performance license to show the entire movie. On the other hand, if she only shows clips from the movie, it is possible that her use would fall under section 107 fair use. [Or, she could avoid a public performance of the movie entirely by require students to watch the movie on their own prior to attending the presentation.]
  • I don't see why this would not be a teaching activity. Nothing in the language of 110(1) says the teaching has to be related to the curriculum of any specific class, just that it is teaching. I think this is.
  • the guest lecture is the property of guest you people are missing major point .
  • I'm not sure I understand the point you're trying to get across, John.

    The guest lecture may or may not be the property of the guest dependent on circumstance, but that doesn't really play into the guest's use of the movie.

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