Answered By: Aaron Dobbs
Last Updated: 2020.Apr.13     Views: 3

Welcome to semi-uncharted territory - there is no case-law nor regulatory/statutory guidance involving a situation where an existing traditional course is moved mid-semester from in-person to online delivery. I'll be interested to see if anyone (publisher/ distributor/ creator) tries to sue some educational institution over possibly-infringing fair-use claims made during this pandemic.

tl;dr: there is a good argument to be made to say that showing Central Park 5 in your online course is an allowable use.

The Library has a trial of Kanopy, a streaming service, through April 24th, 2020.

From a technology and bandwidth perspective, streaming the Kanopy version to a computer screen and then Zooming that streamed content out to the students will take a high-bandwidth connection on the part of whomever is streaming the video. The transmission quality would probably be higher if each student asynchronously streamed and watched the video on their own.

Here is a quick gloss on the process I followed to make my recommendation:
Similar to every Copyright question, Section 107 says we have to consider four factors:

  • purpose and character of the use - educational
    (totally fine as educational exception scheduled in-person or synchronously online to a course-restricted audience)
  • the nature of the copyrighted work - audio-visual
    (there is added specificity requiring a restricted-access and synchronous session to show a physical item to an online class)
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market - none
    (since Ship has licensed access through Kanopy, we already pay for access to it)
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken - the whole thing
    (this ties back into the educational nature of the use)

Here's where the education-related exceptions live, Copyright Sections 107 & 110:
https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107
https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#110

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