Posts Tagged License

Use of Free, Licensed, Images In An On-Line Course

Q.  We would like to use in our web based, online, AP Art History course some artwork for which permission has been granted to copy, distribute and/or modify under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.  Since the license permits copying and distribution, would this allow for use in an on-line course?

A.  It is important to read the license statement in its entirety. One can only use the material as per the rights granted in the license.  The absence of any statement restricting a particular use, such as on-line, does not automatically grant the user such rights.

In regard to the rights granted to copy and distribute, the question remains does this only mean making physical copies and distributing, or does the license extend to  making a digital copy and making it available on-line. If you download images from a site that clearly grants such user rights, whether in reference to the GNU Free Documentation License, Creative Commons or other such sources, then you could use those images. If  not sure how to interpret the license statement, I would recommend making contact with the licensing source.  Assuming the action desired is permissible,  full credit still needs to be given to your sources.

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Use of Royalty Free Music and Book Covers in Video Production

Q.  Students are making book trailers for our Book Festival. If we purchase royalty free music with the right to use the music in a variety of productions, are we able to use selected music in the video  and not be in violation of copyright ?  Are we able to show the cover of a book in any way as part of our presentation?

A.  My response is based on the assumption that students are producing promotional videos that will be shown either within your school/school district’s closed circuit TV system or on local, community cable and that copies of the promotional videos are not being made for any form of distribution to others, either free or by sale.

With the preceding in mind, royalty free music libraries generally permit the use of the music in almost any form of media production for use within the confines of the institution to which the music is licensed.  This generally would include the school/district, closed circuit system.  However, you are actually governed by the license agreement (contract) for the royalty free music and what it will permit/not permit.  I would definitely recommend reviewing the agreement to see what are the permissions/limitations and if there is a reference to using the music on productions that will be transmitted outside of your institution.  If there is no reference to this in the agreement, I would recommend your contacting the copyright owners and obtain clarification/permission in writing, since the use of the music is governed by contract law, not copyright.

In terms of using the book cover in the production, in general, a Fair Use argument can be made for performing this function.  However, covers are copyright protected and if original artwork, the copyright owner may not wish to see their artwork distributed electronically.  Even though Fair Use may apply, since the transmission of the videos may take place beyond the confines of a school or your district, I would recommend contacting the copyright owners of the images you desire to use for their permission.  In the process, you may find a consistent enough response that may help you in future use of similar materials without having to write for permission again in the future.

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Use of YouTube™ and Google™ Videos for Instruction

Q.  I am a media specialist at a high school where we have several teachers who would like to show YouTube™ and Google™ videos in the classes. We are trying to find out the copyright laws in regards to using these types of resources.

A.  The use of both the “YouTube™” and “Google™” video sites are governed by user license agreements.  Licenses are contracts that supersede copyright laws and privileges.  At the bottom of the home pages for both sites, you will find in small print the words “Terms of Use.”  If you click on on this link, you will be brought to the license/contract language governing what the user is allowed to do and restricted from doing when using videos found on “YouTube™” and “Google™.”

In both cases, they make it known that if the images, logos, videos, artwork, text or other content is the creation and property of “YouTube™ or Google™”, the license requires that you obtain prior permission when using the materials for anything other than personal use.  Content that is contributed by users is protected by Copyright Law and that is stated in both licenses.  Since the licenses basically state that the contributed works are under Copyright protection, then Fair Use, special exemptions under the law and  privileges found in the various Copyright Guidelines and in Distance Learning (The TEACH Act ) would still apply.

In the case of contributed materials to these sites, linking to the specific materials would appear to be permissible, as well as live presentations in class, as per Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law, granting educators the right to display and perform copyrighted materials for the purpose of “Face-to-Face” instruction.  However, when it comes to a use that would require downloading the videos, archiving them for later use, or incorporating them into a distance learning course or other presentation, it appears, from the license statements, that owners of the content need to be contacted, unless the owners of that content have stated in their submission that end users have the right to download or retransmit the materials.  In the case of “YouTube™”, if the individual video doesn’t have a download button on the page that hosts the individual video, then, according to the “YouTube™”, Terms of Use Agreement, it would not be permissible to download or copy that video.

It is important to become familiar with the “Terms of Use” for both sites and to understand the privileges and limitations stated therein.

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Use of Entertainment Videos for Family Night

Q. May we use an entertainment video, rented from a neighborhood rental store, for a family night at our school?

A. The use of entertainment videos for a public showing, with or without an admittance charge, requires a public performance license. Your neighborhood rental agency is not empowered to grant such a license.

Movie Licensing USA represents a number of well known production companies, such as Disney, Universal Studios, Dreamworks etc., that by the payment of an annual fee, per student at your school, it covers your school’s use of any entertainment video for use in the school for non-instructional purposes. This would include using it for the purpose you intend, with the requirement that the video title could not be used in any promotional piece or advertising and no admission charge is made for viewing the movie.

Once having the license, videos may be obtained by purchase, rental, loan, or by donation to the school.

You may contact Movie Licensing USA at 877-321-1300 or on the web at www.movlic.com. On the web you will find a listing of all the potential uses of entertainment videos covered by the license and the terms and restrictions of use.

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