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Martha S. Grafton Library

Mary Baldwin University Copyright Policy: Media

Policy statements and guidelines for anyone affiliated with the University who wishes to copy, alter, or perform works that are protected by copyright.

Common Questions

Common Questions:

May I purchase or rent a film and use it in my class?

Most films are for home use only; however, use of such tapes is considered "fair use" in a face-to-face teaching situation. Films marked "Home Use Only" may also be placed on reserve if they are used strictly for instructional purposes and not entertainment.

Is it permissible to make a copy of a rental film in order to use it again, later?

No. That would infringe on the rights licensed to the rental agency.

May Francis Auditorium be used to show a film labeled "Home Use Only" to a class?

Yes, so long as the performance is not open to the public and is for an instructional purpose within the structure of the course. Use for entertainment is prohibited.

May a college-owned video be copied for Reserves?

Not unless permission for the copying has been obtained from the copyright owner.

May a club or other group show a film?

Not unless public performing rights have been obtained.  Many film/video libraries and distributors offer the required "public performance rights" that are included in a higher rental fee.

What if a student rents a video from a video store and views it with a few friends in her dorm?

Since access to dormitories is limited to acquaintances of students, this would seem to be comparable to "home use". Getting together to watch a video in the Nut House or the Ham and Jam Pub would not be allowed as these settings are open to the general public.

May a videotape be made of a film that is out of print and/or deteriorating rapidly?

Although the film is out of print, permission of the copyright owner is nonetheless required. 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.

May copies of College-owned films be sent to off-campus students?

Yes, as long as they are used for instructional purposes by currently enrolled students. The copy must be returned when the student completes the course.

Film and Video Recordings

What Guidelines apply to the use of Films and Video Recordings?

Ownership 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". 

Classroom Use

Permissible Uses:   

  • shown as part of the instructional program
  • shown by students, instructors, or guest lecturers
  • shown only to students and educators
  • shown using a legitimate (that is, not illegally reproduced) copy with the copyright notice included

Impermissible Use:

  • shown for entertainment or recreational purposes, without the copyright holder's permission, whatever the work's intellectual content

Use Outside of the Classroom

Video recordings that are owned by Mary Baldwin may ordinarily be viewed by small groups of students, faculty or staff. These videos may also be viewed at "home" (e.g. in a dorm room for on-campus students or personal residence for non-residential students). Viewings by larger audiences require explicit permission from the copyright owner for "public performance" rights. The Library's online catalog includes notes "Educational Public Performance Rights secured" and/or "Staunton Campus Closed Circuit Rights secured" for videos with that status. No fees for viewing a video are permitted even when public performance rights are obtained.

Off-Air Recordings

What Guidelines apply to the Off-Air Recording of Broadcasts?

Licenses may be obtained for off-air recording.  Absent a formal agreement, the following"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. Helms, supra]:

  • Videotaped recordings may be kept for no more than 45 calendar days after the recording date, at which time the tapes must be erased. 
  • Videotaped recordings may be shown to students only within the first 10 school days of the 45-day retention period.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.


These guidelines apply only to nonprofit educational institutions, which are expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain the integrity of the guidelines. 

Certain public broadcasting services (e.g. Public Broadcasting Service) impose similar restrictions but limit use to only the seven-day period following local broadcast [Virginia M. Helms, supra].

Converting Analog Material to Digital Format

What Guidelines Apply to the conversion of other Analog Materials to Digital Format?

The TEACH Act permits the conversion of such materials under the following circumstances:

1) the projected use of the materials to be converted complies with revised Section 110(2)

2) a digital version of the work is not "available to the institution" (i.e. the work is not already available in digital form). Analog recordings and images that are readily available in usable digital form for purchase or license at a fair price should not be digitized without permission.

Faculty and students may use recordings/images they personally digitize (for spontaneous use) only once. Retention and further use of such images by the individuals or by the educational institution requires permission. It is not permissible to scan copyrighted materials (published graphics and text) for educational/non-profit publication without crediting the copyright holder.

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Phone: 540-887-7085

Text: 540-300-4622

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