Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Class Videos and Copyright

The University of California at Los Angeles has stopped allowing faculty members to post copyrighted videos on their course Web sites after the Association for Information and Media Equipment (AIME), a group that protects the copyrights of education media companies, charged the university with violating copyright laws by posting the videos to the password-protected course Web pages without the proper permissions. For additional details, check out the Inside Higher Ed article at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/26/copyright (be sure to check the very intriquing comments to the article at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/26/copyright#Comments ).

A follow-up article is also available at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/02/04/copyrightredux .

What does this mean? In overly simplistic terms:
  • Fair use only allows a portion of a work (video or otherwise) to be used by a not-for-profit educational institution in the classroom.
  • The TEACH Act extends the classroom to include any online, password protected course space with access only by currently enrolled students, and access enabled only for a time period appropriate to presentation and discussion of the work.
  • The use of the video must be related to specific course objectives (i.e., not just as a time filler).
  • As a "general rule", the TEACH Act would only authorize portions of, not entire works. The exception might include showing an entire film in a media studies program, but other criteria must also be met.
  • The work (including video) must be legally obtained (e.g., not a pirated copy).
  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal (even if fair use might otherwise apply) to bypass the encryption on digital media (e.g., CSS encryption codes on region-encoded DVDs) in order to create a streaming media version. For example, if you digitize and bypass the encryption on a DVD to create a streaming video clip, the issue of fair use is moot.
  • The TEACH Act does not extend fair use to works primarily produced or marketed for in-class use in the digital distance education market.
JCCC has licenses with several companies to provide video access for instructional purposes, including Ambrosia Video, Journal of Chemical Education (ACS) demonstrations, American History in Video (streaming video collection includes newsreels from 1929 through the 1960s plus hours of documentaries from the History Channel and more), Counseling and Therapy in Video, Dallas TeleLearning Digital Resource Repository, and the INTELECOM Online Resources Network.

Members of AIME, the group that has threatened UCLA with a copyright infringement suit) are listed online ( http://www.aime.org/corporate-directory.php ).

As background for this increasingly important area of media usage, check out “Video Use and Higher Education: Options for the Future” at http://library.nyu.edu/about/Video_Use_in_Higher_Education.pdf .

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