Copyright for Audiovisual
Copyright is the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, and
sell the matter and form of a literary, musical or artistic work.
How can I use a radio or television program in class?
You may record a program as it is broadcast by a local radio or television station; you may, within ten school days of recording the program, use it once with each class for instructional purposes and once again for reinforcement. From the 11th day through the 45th calender day after the broadcast, it may be used only for evaluation purposes; after that period of time, the recording must be erased unless permission (from the copyright holder) to keep it has been obtained. Copies of the recording may be made to meet the needs of other teachers, but all copies share the same time restriction as the original. Unless specific permission is granted (such as the National Geographic specials and some Project Discovery programs) you may not use recording made from cable-only television channels. See Cable in the Classroom Website for permission.
I have a VHS video; it would be easier to us on a DVD. Can I have it transferred?
To make a copy of an audiovisual work other than one recorded under the off-air recording guidelines (above) requires permission of the copyright holder. Works that are in an obsolete format may be transferred to other formats if that work is not available for sale in an updated format, but to be considered "obsolete" the equipment to play the medium must not be available for purchase at a reasonable price. VHS machines are still available, so you would need permission to make this transfer.
We have a video program that was very expensive to purchase and I'm worried that it might be destroyed by accident. Since it's OK to make a backup of computer software, isn't it OK to make a copy of a tape or DVD?
No. In order to make a backup copy of a video program, you must have purchased "archival rights" from the copyright holder or receive written permission prior to making the copy.
May I show rented tapes in class?
Yes-if you rent a tape that applies to your instructional needs and use it in "face-to-face" instruction, and the showing occurs in a classroom or other instructional place, and only teachers and students in the class view the showing. In such a situation, the showing would fall under the AV Fair Use Guidelines.
No-if the tape is to be shown as a reward, enrichment, or entertainment, it cannot be used. Rental stores do not ordinarily purchase the public performance rights required for a reward or entertainment showing to a public group (a class constitutes a public group and therefore doesn't quality for a Fair Use exemption without meeting the AV guideline requirements.) Many librarians purchase or receive public performance rights, but you should ask.
Always use discretion in showing rented videos in your classroom, making certain that you choose only those that are appropriate. Check the ratings regarding language, sex, violence, nudity and morality and if in doubt, don't show it.
This brochure was reprinted from Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide, 5th edition,
by Carol Simpson, Linworth Publishing, copyright 2010.