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Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College Video Use Copyright Policy

As a private, independent, four year Liberal Arts institution that educates individuals to think critically, to act responsibly, and to “be light,” Kalamazoo College recognizes the importance of intellectual property to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. In acknowledgment of its ethical and legal obligations the College strives to comply with copyright laws and licensing agreements in the responsible use of information for teaching, learning and administration of the College. To that end the College has adopted a Video Use Copyright Policy that seeks a balance between the need to easily access and use information for scholarship and the right of the copyright owner to exercise reasonable control over its use.

Video Use in the Classroom
Video Use Outside the Classroom
Copying Videotapes and Off-Air Recording of Broadcasts, Including Satellite TV
Network Distribution of Video
Copyright FAQ



The official policy of Kalamazoo College for video use in the classroom is: Films/videos may be shown at a single location on campus as part of the curriculum of a unit-bearing course during regular class time or alternately scheduled class time, or during a college sanctioned teaching session.  Viewing must be limited to those students enrolled in the course or registered to participate in the college sanctioned teaching session; the faculty member teaching the course or leading the college sanctioned teaching session, as well as teaching assistants and/or media services specialists who are supporting the faculty in the showing of the film/video, may also be present.

Possession of a film or video does not confer the right to show the work. The copyright owner specifies, at the time of purchase or rental, the circumstances in which a film or video may be "performed".  For example, videocassettes from a video rental outlet usually bear a label that specifies "Home Use Only".  However, whatever their labeling or licensing, use of these media is permitted in an educational institution so long as certain conditions are met.

Section 110 (1) of the Copyright Act of 1976 specifies that the following is permitted:  Performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to- face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made...and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made.  Additional text of the Copyright Act and portions of the House Report (94-1476) combine to provide the following, more detailed list of conditions [from Virginia M. Helm, “What Educators Should Know About Copyright,” Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1986]:

   1. They must be shown as part of the instructional program.
   2. They must be shown by students, instructors, or guest lecturers.
   3. They must be shown either in a classroom or other school location devoted to instruction such as a studio, workshop, library, gymnasium, or auditorium if it is used for instruction.
   4. They must be shown either in a face-to-face setting or where students and teacher(s) are in the same building or general area.
   5. They must be shown only to students and educators.
   6. They must be shown using a legitimate (that is, not illegally reproduced) copy with the copyright notice included.

Further, the relationship between the film or video and the course must be explicit. Films or videos, even in a "face-to-face" classroom setting, may not be used for entertainment or recreation, whatever the work's intellectual content.  Please note:  compliance of Copyright Law relating to video use goes hand-in-hand with our college policy on academic honesty.

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All video screening events open to the greater college community; for departmental and administrative offices; for student organizations; held in a public space; and/or are not part of a specific class or classes require a Movie Copyright Compliance Site License, commonly known as Public Performance Rights (PPR).  PPR are mandated by Federal Copyright Laws and the entire Kalamazoo College Community is obliged to comply with those laws. In addition to use in classrooms, videos that are owned by the College may ordinarily be viewed by students, faculty or staff at workstations or in small-group rooms in the Library. These videos may also be viewed at home (e.g., in a dorm room), as long as no more than a few friends are involved.  Larger audiences, such as groups that might assemble in a residence hall living room or lounge, do require explicit permission from the copyright owner, or PPR.  The Library's online catalog bibliographic record includes the note "Public Performance Rights" for videos in our collection that were purchased with PPR or have passed into the public domain. Faculty, staff, and students may show a video outside of the classroom and open the program to the greater Kalamazoo College community if they arrange for purchase of PPR. 

Faculty and staff wishing to pursue the purchase of PPR may contact Media Services at or at campus extension 7138.  Media Services will then make the necessary contact(s) to purchase PPR for the film. The faculty, staff, or department who is requesting PPR will be responsible for the cost involved. PPR costs vary widely from $100-700 depending on how recent, and/or how popular, is the requested video.  Also, under these arrangements it is not permissible to charge any audience member a fee for viewing the video for which public performance rights were obtained.  A minimum of 2 weeks notice is necessary to arrange for purchase of PPR.

Students wishing to pursue the purchase of PPR for Student Organization events should contact The Office of Student Involvement and/or complete the Student Organization Event Registration process available on the campus intranet portal, Hornet Hive.

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Copying videotapes without the copyright owner's permission is illegal. An exception is made for libraries to replace a work that is lost or damaged if another copy cannot be obtained at a fair price [Section 108 of the Copyright Act of 1976].  Licenses may be obtained for copying and off-air recording. Absent a formal agreement, "Guidelines for Off-the-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes", an official part of the Copyright Act's legislative history, applies to most off-air recording [from Virginia M. Helm, supra]:

  1. Videotaped recordings may be kept for no more than 45 calendar days after the recording date, at which time the tapes must be erased.
  2. Videotaped recordings may be shown to students only within the first 10 school days of the 45-day retention period.
  3. Off-air recordings must be made only at the request of an individual instructor for instructional purposes, not by staff in anticipation of later requests.
  4. The recordings are to be shown to students no more than two times during the 10-day period, and the second time only for necessary instructional reinforcement.
  5. The taped recordings may be viewed after the 10-day period only by instructors for evaluation purposes, that is, to determine whether to include the broadcast program in the curriculum in the future.
  6. If several instructors request videotaping of the same program, duplicate copies are permitted to meet the need; all copies are subject to the same restrictions as the original recording.
  7. The off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically altered or combined with others to form anthologies, but they need not necessarily be used or shown in their entirety.
  8. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.
  9. These guidelines apply only to nonprofit educational institutions, which are further expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain the integrity of these guidelines.

Certain public broadcasting services (Public Broadcasting Service, Public Television Library, Great Plains National Instructional Television Library, and Agency for Instructional Television) impose similar restrictions but limit use to only the seven-day period following local broadcast [Virginia M. Helm, supra].

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The College negotiates for closed-circuit distribution rights, if possible, when purchasing access to satellite broadcasts or obtaining works on videotape. Without explicit permission for closed-circuit distribution, network transmission of a video is not permissible unless "Classroom Use" structures are met.

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