Digital movie downloads & fair use

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  • I am a high school librarian in a very technology driven school. The teachers want to be able to download movies from a private company; the agreement states clearly for private home use only. I have called this company looking for an institution subscription. They do not have one. The gentleman on the phone assured me that the company knew all about the teachers & classroom use & the company was delighted -- he didn't instill a lot of trust in me. It didn't change the writing in the agreement! Because of the fine print I don't believe we can legally use the service even if the points of fair use are met, can we?
    As I researched this issue, I checked into a blanket license - the one I checked didn't cover digital downloads.

    So, am I correct that the school is not covered under fair use for use of a teacher's private account - even if it was paid for?

    Are these services covered under any blanket licensing?
  • Better ask the company , just ring them and said the same that you have posted here . If they write something in favor of you , you can have the benefit afterward .
  • The company is right -- you don't NEED special permission to show things in the classroom. That's covered right in the copyright law under exemptions for education. There ARE companies that will try to sell you an extra license for classroom exhibition -- but that's unethical. Don't let them fool you. What you need to pay extra for is the right for public exhibition --- but that's an entirely different thing from classsroom use (for example, showing a film to a club made up of non-students after school hours).
  • The question I have is, you say that "the agreement states clearly for private home use only." What agreement? You can give up certain rights contractually.

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