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Q: Copyright Question: Distributing Digital Video to Teachers on a CD ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Copyright Question: Distributing Digital Video to Teachers on a CD
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: mike2277-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 02 Feb 2006 13:14 PST
Expires: 04 Mar 2006 13:14 PST
Question ID: 440623
I am teaching a fee based online course for K-12 educators on how use
digital video in the classroom. My problem is that most of them don't
have access to a camcorder so they have no video footage to work with.

My question is if I can download some video clips from sites like the
Library of Congress could I burn those files on a CD and just mail the
CD to them so they have some movie clips to edit?

Also, they will be creating their own movies with these clips and
uploading the final product to my password protected class website.

Is this a copyright violation or am I safe under "fair use." 

I'm thinking of downloading clips from this page: because I would think
the copyright has already expired on these films (early 1900's).

Thanks in advance,


Clarification of Question by mike2277-ga on 02 Feb 2006 13:20 PST
Just to clarify something about why I need to burn the files on
CD...the teachers have dialup connections so it would not be feasible
to ask them to download these files from a website because it would
take way too long.
Subject: Re: Copyright Question: Distributing Digital Video to Teachers on a CD
Answered By: alanna-ga on 02 Feb 2006 16:01 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Mike2277-ga -

First, I must say that I am not a lawyer and what I write cannot be
construed as legal advice.  However, the Library of  Congress seems to
me to be quite clear about the lack of restrictions on the films in
their American Memory Film Collection

According to the Library of Congress web site, the films you wish to
download  are "not copyright protected or donor restricted." This
information may be found at:

The above mentioned page seems to be very clear on the issue of
copyright on the films and videos in the American Memory Collection.

For other films from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded
Sound Division of the Library of Congress, they state:

"The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for
educational and research purposes. The written permission of the
copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or
privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other
use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other
statutory exemptions."

The critical words here are "beyond that allowed by fair use."  Thus
you would want to be clear about the fair use doctrine under US
Copyright Law.
The explanation of "fair use" under the Copyright Law of the United
States of America and Related Laws is found in Title 17 of the United
States Code.  Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107 states:

"the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by
reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified
by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news
reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

I hope this information is helpful to you, and I wish you good luck in
your venture.

All the best,


ps Further information about copyright and the Library of Congress may be found at:

Scroll down to "About Copyright and the Collections"
mike2277-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks so much for the answer to my question.

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