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A few reactions to Dan's remarks in the message below.

1. I'm glad Dan cites the Video-Cinema Films v. CNN case. It does help
strengthen the case for fair use in a realm (the Hollywood industry) that
has usually shaped over-cautious behavior. I agree with him, though, that
film publications do seem to remain cautious about use of film frame
enlargements without auhorization from the copyright holder. An informal
survey I did a few months ago gave me the impression that "web only"
publications are a bit more liberal--and may tend to consider frame images
to be okay without the author getting clearance (e.g., Kinoeye)--whereas
those publications also in print or print only (except through closed
access electronic subscription) tend in the conservative direction. This
was the result of checking with 9-10 of them. Your mileage may vary.

2. As for Dan's mention that "2002 copyright legislation now in effect in
the US allows university educators to put ENTIRE COMMERCIAL FILMs on edu
web sites, provided they are only accessible for students and for
instructional
purposes"... I'm puzzled. What legislation is this? If you're referring to
the TEACH Act--passed as part of the Dept. of Justice appropriations bill
and now incorporated into the appropriate secitons of the Title 17
copyright law--I'm afraid it isn't so. TEACH provisions are explicit about
limiting networked distance education use of such works as films (which
don't generally qualify as "nondramatic literary and musical works" that
can be transmitted wholesale) to "reasonable and limited portions". This
alone (there are other TEACH provisions that might obstruct) precludes the
practice that Dan suggests. Unless, of course, the fair use
provision--which isn't a part of TEACH's scope--can be creatively applied
to justify it.

Jeff
**********
Jeff Clark
Director
Media Resources (MSC 1701)
James Madison University
[log in to unmask]
540-568-6770 (voice)
540-568-3405 (fax)

=========================================
Date:    Thu, 6 Feb 2003 08:01:43 -0500
From:    Dan Streible <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Copyright for Film Stills

Video-Cinema Films Inc. v. CNN, et al.,
98 CIV. 7130(BSJ), (S.D.N.Y., Nov. 28, 2001)

At end of 2001, a federal court ruled that CNN, ABC and CBS did NOT
violate copyright in "The Story of G.I. Joe" by including portions of
the film in their TV obituaries of Robert Mitchum . "The defendants'
clips were used because of their relevance to Mitchum and not to convey
a synopsis of the original film," the court said. "Just as parody must
mimic the original work to make its point, and biographers are permitted
to quote their subjects, so too should obituaries about actors be
allowed to show reasonable clips of their work."   News obits. were
deemed transformative [i.e., new] works, and were "aimed to inform the
viewing public and educate them regarding Mitchum's impact on the arts."


So one would think a still image for educational, non-profit, scholarly
use would also be 'fair use.'

While overall the media corporations are winning increasing power in
copyright, the 2002 copyright legislation now in effect in the US allows
university educators to put ENTIRE COMMERCIAL FILMs on edu web sites,
provided they are only accessible for students and for instructional
purposes.  And -- remarkably -- so long as the school has purchases a
version of the motion picture with a license for classroom use, the
school does NOT have to request permission to 're-purpose' it for web
display, but may use it just as in a classroom projection.

That being said many publishers are still timid about pushing 'fair use'
of film stills.  But if authors push for freer access there are some new
legal justifications that stand to make fair use more, shall we say,
fair.

Dan Streible
(whose legal opinions have no standing in any court anywhere)

----
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
http://www.tcf.ua.edu/ScreenSite