The following sections of copyright law signifigantly impact filmmakers in terms of distribution in the educational film market.
Note: This page does not constitute legal advise or contain a full interpretation of the law. Refer to the copyright code and/or the provided links to access more complete information about the resources listed here.
Title 17 >Chapter 1 > § 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works
Overview: The owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
The following are a few of the limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright holder defined in the US Code.
USC Title 17 >Chapter 1 > § 107. Limitation on exclusive rights of copyright holder
Overview: Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.
USC Title 17 >Chapter 1 > § 110 (1). Limitation on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays
(1) 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 under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made;
USC Title 17 >Chapter 1 > § 110 (2). Limitation on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays
Overview: Conceptually, an extension of Face to Face that translates into an asynchronous distance education situation. TEACH has more limitations in place that Face to Face, regarding use of the work.
TEACH allows for:
On the condition that:
UCS Title 17 >Chapter 1 > § 109. Limitation on exclusive rights: Effect of transfer of particular copy or phonorecord
Notwithstanding the provision of section 106(3), the owner of a particular copy or photorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.
Copyright & Fair Use (Stanford University Libraries)
Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use (Center for Social Media)
University of North Texas Copyright Resources
U.S. Code Title 17 (Copyright) (Cornell University Law School)
U.S. Copyright Office