Information about using Video Recordings at Whitman College
Showing or “performing” a motion picture can be important for teaching and other instructional activities. In many situations, it is also perfectly appropriate under copyright law, but not all “public performances” are lawful. The copyright law attempts to balance the interests of the public with the interests of authors in their creative works. The law gives copyright owners several exclusive rights, including the exclusive right to give public performances of their copyrighted works, but the law also permits some performances of these works by others as summarized below. These principles are generally true, whether the work is a feature film, an educational video, downloaded from the web, recorded off-air, or stored on VHS or DVD.
Possession of a video does not confer the right to show it in public. The copyright owner specifies, at the time of purchase or rental, the circumstances in which a video may be "performed.” For example, rented videos usually bear a label that specifies "Home Use Only". Showings of such videos may not be advertised nor may they take place in large venues. Advertised or public showings require an explicit license (either associated with the video or arranged through a video rental service).
Most uses of lawfully owned or rented copies of video recordings in face-to-face teaching activities in the classroom or via dissemination through a digital network as an integral part of a class session are permitted provided certain conditions are met. The relationship between the video and the course must be explicit. Videos, even in a face-to-face classroom setting, may not be used for entertainment or recreation, whatever their intellectual content.
Adapted with permission from "Copyright & The Claremont Colleges"
For more information, consult TEACH Act FAQ (NC State University)
- Videos & Copyright – Determining Public Performance Rights
- Society of Film Studies Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators
Musical & Dramatic Work
Information about using Music & Sound Recordings at Whitman College
- Music Library Association
- Public domain music
Multimedia Projects & Presentations
Information about Developing Multimedia at Whitman College
Copyright Issues & the Web
Many people mistakenly assume that everything posted on the Internet is in the public domain. It is vital for you to know that, current copyright law gives legal protection to nearly all text, images, audiovisual recordings, and other materials that are posted on the Internet, even if the original works do not include any statement about copyright.
You may post such materials on your websites only if:
- You are the copyright owner of the material, or
- The copyright owner of the material grants permission, or
- The material is in the public domain, or
- The use of the material is a "fair use" under the law, or
- The material falls within another statutory exception.
When developing webpages, please remember:
- If linking to another website without specific permission from the owner, that link should open in a separate window or otherwise clearly indicate that a different site is being accessed;
- photos, text, or other material being re-posted should always be clearly attributed;
- sign and date your pages
Fair use plays a key role in the online world; just as it has done with forms of traditional media. Do not assume that a nonprofit, educational use or giving credit for the source of the work, or because you are merely a personal website creates an inherent fair use. While limiting the amount of material you post on your website, and restricting access to the material are creative ways of strengthening your claim of fair use, it is not necessarily a guarantee.
Obtaining permission from the copyright owner is an important option when posting materials on the Web.