Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 09:10:01 -0700


Subject: Re: Unauth Index to "American Tongues" - Improvements Invited

Natalie wrote:

On the subject of buying videotapes versus taping them from tv, I have

a question: A colleague of mine (who teaches our film course and is

very much into the video scene in general) claims that it's perfectly

legal to tape anything you want to from tv and show it to your classes.

I've argued that that doesn't make sense, at least with videos that are

sold -- e.g., "American Tongues." If it's legal to tape from tv, why

would people buy the tapes?

I'm not an attorney, and there are probably several of you out there who

can clarify this better, but here's my understanding:

The difference lies in "fair use." The Supreme Court has upheld the right

of people to tape from their own TVs for their own use. Once you play the

tape in a different forum, however, such as a classroom, it's no longer

fair use, so it would be considered an infringement of copyright law.

In other words, it's legal to tape from your TV; it's not legal to play

the tape in class. That's the way I understand it, anyway. If I'm wrong,

please straighten me out.

Bruce Gelder