Question? If copyright allows you to check out and view library-owned films in your physical classroom, you can ask the Libraries to digitize the entire film for you to post to Blackboard so your distance education students can view it, right?
Answer. Wrong (probably). There may be limited situations in which this is possible, but there are also many legal issues that must be considered first.
Generally speaking, in most cases the Libraries cannot legally digitize entire assigned films for streaming purposes, even if the file is password protected - that is not a clear copyright exemption. Nor should you livestream for synchronous class viewing; it is also likely not legal and generally a technical headache. Films are different than texts as there are more copyright considerations that make relying on copyright exemptions and fair use difficult (not impossible, but difficult).
Please review everything below to familiarize yourself with all aspects that must be considered. Be aware that a decision by the Libraries to digitize a film in its collection for course streaming purposes will only come after a thorough review, which can take time. If a decision to digitize a film is made, the process of converting it to a streaming file available for course use (including producing captioning if necessary, per University policy) can also take considerable time. Digitizing a film should therefore be considered a last resort solution for course viewing purposes.
Can the Libraries digitize an entire film?
1. At a minimum, four considerations must be met:
2. If all four criteria in 1) apply, instructors must also submit a Fair Use evaluation form to the Libraries that
3. If the criteria in 1) has been met, and the Fair Use justification is deemed sufficient by the Libraries, the Libraries will proceed with digitization.
Therefore, only if
1. A physical copy is already in the Libraries' collection
2. No streaming version is available on the market,
3. No digital streaming rights can be licensed for converting a DVD to a streaming format, and
4. A sufficient Fair Use analysis has been conducted
will the Libraries digitize one of its films to stream to a distance education course.
Can the Libraries digitize clips?
Yes. The libraries can digitize a “reasonable” portion of a film.
Teach Act Requirements:
The TEACH Act (2002) permits streaming portions of film content. More specifically, the TEACH Act (included in Section 110(2)) - The "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization" Act allows instructors to perform or display copyrighted works in distance education environments. Per the TEACH Act, additional requirements must be met in order to digitize and legally stream video for course purposes.
1. A digital version of the film is either unavailable or protected by technological measures.
2. The portion of the film that is streamed must be reasonable and limited.
3. Streaming must be controlled so the file is not widely distributed or downloadable.
4. Access will only be provided to students enrolled in the course.
5. The streaming file will carry a warning that copyrighted material is being distributed as permitted under the TEACH Act. When the Libraries digitizes a film for course purposes, the following statement will be added to the beginning of the file.
Per the University's Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Policy, captioning must be provided for online instructional content produced by the University. This introduces additional steps into producing a streaming film for course use.
Take down notices or complaints from a film's rights holder
If the instructor, Libraries, or the University is contacted by the film's rights holder at any point during the semester with a complain when rights or permission to digitize and stream a film have not been secured, a review and discussion with the rights holder will ensure. Both the instructor and University Counsel will be notified if this request comes to the Libraries. If the request comes to the instructor, the instructor must promptly notify the Libraries who will then notify University Counsel.