Multimedia Guidelines

The Kreitzberg library maintains a small collection of various audiovisual materials (audiocassettes, CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, videocassettes, etc.) supporting the academic curriculum.

The Copyright Act of 1976 governs the rights of reproduction, adaptation, distribution, and public performance and display. Several sections of this act have implications for videocassettes, DVDs and computer file formats. According to the ALA Library Fact Sheet 7: Video and Copyright*:

When libraries purchase a videocassette or a DVD, or make a video file accessible to patrons for a specific rental period, they own the physical object but not the copyright. Copyright law, therefore, determines what libraries can and cannot do with the videotapes/DVDs/video files they own without infringing upon the copyright they do not own. However, the law also includes exceptions and limitations to the exclusive rights of the rights holder that allow libraries to lend, preserve and replace videos and allow non-profit educational institutions the right to publicly perform videos in the face-to-face classroom, and under certain conditions, in the distance educational classroom via digital networks. When libraries want to use a videotape/DVD/video file in such a way that would infringe upon the copyright, permission must be sought from rights holder in the form of a license agreement. Permission fees are likely.

Personal Use of Video

The library loans videos, in whatever available format, to patrons for their personal use. DVDs have a 45 day loan period. Fees apply for lost items.

Classroom Use of Video

Public performances of a video/DVD in the face-to-face classroom is an exception to the public performance right §110 (1) and therefore lawful. The following conditions apply:

  • The teaching activities are conducted by a non-profit education institution.
  • The performance is in connection with face-to-face teaching activities.
  • The performance takes place in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.
  • The person responsible for the performance has no reason to believe that the videotape was unlawfully made.*

Library Reserves Use of Video

Instructors may place on reserve videos that directly support the class curriculum. Reserve videos are available for check out during library business hours. Videos can be placed on reserve for 2 hours or 4 hours for “in library use only” or for 1 day or 5 days to circulate outside of the library.

Patrons may use the library media viewing room (located in the western alcove of the main floor) to view reserve videos and videos for classroom assignments. Headsets must be used. Viewers in the alcove may not exceed two people at one TV.

Public Performance Use of Video

“Most public performances of a video in a public room (including library meeting rooms), whether or not a fee is charged, are an infringement of copyright. Such performances require a public performance license from the rights holder.”*

Most of the videos in the library do not have public performance rights. The library does purchase videos with public performance rights upon request and makes a “Public performance rights” note in the catalog record to indicate the item has those rights. Other video restrictions are also noted in the catalog record (“Institutional use only – not available for ILL,” etc.).


* “ALA Library Fact Sheet 7 – Video and Copyright,” American Library Association, March 2012. http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet07) (Accessed Dec. 5, 2012)

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