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.
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 .