Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rainy Days and Disney

Here's another interesting question posted by a classmate:

Can schools show non-educational movies to students as a "reward" or as an indoor recess activity?

Here's what I found:

If the school or library owns the tape/DVD and they have purchased or received PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS with the tape/DVD, then they can show the movie for whatever purpose they want.

If they don't own public performance rights , then legally they can only show it in curricular situations. Some schools purchase an "umbrella license" which allows them to show non-educational films and videos from lists of producers.

I thought that was interesting. I don't think teachers give it much thought as to whether or not their school has purchased the performance rights. In many schools, it's really up to the media specialist to keep on top of this.

Transferring an AV item to another format

Here is what I have learned so far......

Transferring an item to another format (example: video to DVD, film to video) is never acceptable EXCEPT:

-the medium on which the work is stored is obsolete (based on the legal definition of "obsolete")
-the item is not available for purchase in a newer medium.

So, let's say a school has a video of The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive, for example, and they would like to replace it with a DVD. They may not copy the video into a DVD format since the item is available for purchase on Amazon in a DVD format.

Obsolete means the machine that plays it is no longer manufactured or reasonably available in the commercial marketplace. VCRs, although scarce, are still around and still available. I am surprised by how many students at my school still check out videos (but mostly when the DVD of the item is checked out.) Transferring cassettes to CD would also be unacceptable since cassette players are not obsolete.

More on this later...

Simpson, C. (2005). Copyright For Schools: A Practical Guide. 4th Edition (p. 78). Worthington, OH: Linwoth Publishing, Inc.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Audiovisual Materials

I have chosen the topic of audiovisual materials used in a school library setting because it is currently a hot topic of discussion among the library media teachers in our school district.

The question that has been brought up is:

Can a school library change the format of an item that has originally been purchased if it is damaged and cannot be replaced in its original format?

For example: if the school had originally bought cassette tapes or videos, can they make copies into a different format such as CDs or DVDs? One of the librarians in our district believes that this would be acceptable as long as it for personal use and is not re-sold. Most of the other librarians disagree.

I am planning on researching this and posting my findings soon.......