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Offices & Services

Copyright Policy

Recording and Duplicating Commercially Produced or Broadcast Video Materials

Adapted from Earlham College copyright policy.

Recording cable TV or satellite programming may require permission.

Use of off-air recordings of commercial material for general educational classroom purposes must follow the four guidelines of fair use. There is a period of fairly short duration, generally considered to be within 10 school days or 45 calendar days, in which the off-air recording can be used because it is more convenient or appropriate to the educational program. Beyond this period, the retention of the recording may become a substitute for purchasing the material or conflict with one of the other three criteria for measuring appropriateness under fair use. When such retention is in conflict with the fair use guidelines, retention is in violation of copyright.

You must return, erase, or dispose of the recording within 45 days of the recording.

In order to copy any videotaped program of which you are not the producer or author, you must have received written consent from the copyright holder for that program. This means Office of Information Technology (OIT) or the Multimedia Production Center (MPC) cannot make a copy of a rental video or a program taped from television without written permission from the copyright holder. In cases most video copyright holders will not provide this permission and will instead encourage you to purchase your own copy directly from them or from a store. Occasionally a copyright holder may give such permission if that program or tape is otherwise unavailable.

Office of Information Technology or any of its units can make copies of the following materials:

  • Personal tapes which were videotaped by you. This includes personal camcorder tapes or any programs for which you are effectively the copyright holder.
  • Classroom tapes recorded with Washington College’s AV equipment.
  • Programs recorded or produced by Washington College.
  • Programs for which you have express written permission from the copyright holder to duplicate. A copy of this permission must be provided to the Washington College Multimedia Production Center.
  • Tapes that fall under the guidelines of Section 108 of the copyright code.

Copyright law (17 U.S.C. Section 108) allows libraries to make a copy of materials in their collections “solely for the purpose of replacement of a copy or phonorecord that is damaged, deteriorating, lost or stolen, if the library or archives has, after a reasonable effort, determined that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price.” This right of Reproduction by Libraries does not permit the making of backups.

In general, Office of Information Technology or any of its units may not duplicate any of the following materials:

  • Commercially produced videocassettes. These include movies, television programs, or other programs.
  • Tapes of programs which have been recorded from other tapes, DVDs, or laserdiscs, or from cable TV, broadcast television, or any other broadcast source.
  • Non-commercial tapes for which the customer is not the producer or copyright holder. These may be demonstration tapes, corporate videos, music videos, etc.