Educational Media - Page 2

Inside this Issue

Everything I'm Doing is Legal.  Isn't it?

Become Your Own Copyright Advocate - Know Fair Use

Great Websites on Copyright and Education

Library Resources on Copyright

Online Classes and Copyright

RTC Policy on Photocopying of Copyrighted Materials



The library has over 1300 videos and DVDs covering the RTC curriculum. Want to know if we have anything for your RTC program? Call us at (425) 235-2331.

The library is located at: 3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, WA 98056


Commercial Videos/DVDs

and Public Performances

Since RTC is a nonprofit educational institution, it’s perfectly legal to show commercially produced videos, DVDs, and audiotapes  to your classes. This is called "public performance".

There are a few conditions you need to meet:

•  You have to show it in the classroom – whether that’s a regular classroom or a lab or a shop.

•  It has to be in the course of  face-to-face teaching activities.  The implication is that it must be fairly directly concerned with the topic you are teaching.

•  It must be for instructional purposes – not to just entertain the class.

•  It must be lawfully acquired.  This includes items that you taped yourself, but wouldn’t include a bootleg tape.

•  It can only be shown to your students – you cannot allow your students to invite their families, significant others, etc.

•  It has to be shown by the instructor or guest lecturer, or by students of the class, as a part of their class work.

Meet these requirements, and you can legally use those commercially produced videos and DVDs in your class.

Trivia:  The first English work to be granted copyright was a speech printed in 1518, by Richard Pynson, the King’s Printer. 


Cautionary Tales from the Courts

Many people think “I’m not going to get sued for copyright violation.  It’s isn’t  worth the time and lawyers fees.”  That’s often true; the most frequent response to the discovery of a copyright violation is a cease and desist letter from the copyright holders lawyer.  But sometimes, these cases do make it to the courts.

Shirley Rowley, a continuing Education teacher created a readings packet which she sold to her students.  She included original materials, but also copied 11 pages (of a 35 page booklet) of material created and copyrighted by Eloise Marcus.  Rowley did not attribute the work to Marcus.  Neither Rowley nor the school district she worked for made money off the sale of her readings packet. Marcus sued Rowley AND the school district for copyright infringement—and won.  Marcus v. Rowley, 695 F.2nd 1171 (9th Circuit, 1983)

Nelson Crow  was the choirmaster for his church.  He arranged a work , adding a few  notes of introduction, and made copies to give to his choir. He did not make money from the performances.  The songwriter sued.  Mr. Crow AND the church were  found guilty of copyright infringement.  Wihtol V. Crow
309 F.2d 777 (8th Cir. 1962)


You Taped a TV Show,

and Now You Want to Show it

In Class...

You can show that television program you recorded to your class – as long as you follow these guidelines:

•  First, the showing has to meet the same requirements as a commercially-produced tape—it must be shown in a classroom, in the course of teaching, to students only, for instructional purposes, and it must be lawfully acquired.  (See the article “Commercial Videos…” at the top of this page for more details.)

•  It has to be from one of the commercial networks.  Programs from cable companies don’t count.  You can’t, for example, tape Def Comedy Jam (from HBO) and play it for your students – but you could tape a Saturday Night Live skit (from NBC).  If it was for instructional purposes, of course.

•  You have to show it within 10 days of the time the program aired, and you can only show it twice in the same class.

•  And you do have to include the copyright notice in the broadcast.

•  After 45 days you should get rid of the tape.  (Or keep it for your home use.)  If you really need it for your next years classes, contact your local television station, the network, or the producers for permission to continue using it.

Trivia:  Connecticut was the first state to pass a copyright statute, in 1783. The federal bill was passed in 1790.



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