I would recommend the Know Your Copy Rights website -- -- as well as checking to see if your school has any written policies for faculty.

Personally, I consider the use of clips in class as fair use, however, that does not make it legal for the AV center to dub copyrighted materials. There are, however, a variety of ways to grab the clips you need from DVDs (among other places). The open source program that I use is called Handbrake and can be downloaded here: I have a mac (there is a PC version, although Iíve heard that it doesnít work as well) and so the following directions do not fully apply to the PC: I usually check the DVD first to see which chapter I want and then choose to rip only that chapter (by choosing, for example, chapters 1 through 1, as you might choose a single page on a printer). Save as mp4 (if youíre doing this on a PC, choose AVI). You will be able to play your ripped movie file through ITunes or Quicktime Player. If you want a smaller section than the full chapter, then open your movie with the Quicktime player, set the small bars on the controller to the start and end point of the section that you want and Save selection as self-contained movie. 

Good luck!

Allison de Fren
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Center for Arts & Technology
Connecticut College

-----Original Message-----
From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List on behalf of Glassmeyer, Danielle
Sent: Fri 2/27/2009 4:50 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCREEN-L] making clips....practical matters
My school's AV/IT support department has just told me that they can't
legally make clips from any film source for any reason due to copyright

Before I say "pish posh", I thought I might ask here...

I need clips from feature films that would fall well under 10 % of total
running time.  I would be using them in classroom and conference
presentation only.  And they are not Disney.  And it's okay with me if
the clips are housed on a password-restricted streaming server.

Three requests 

-- can you all point me toward the current law so I can review what it
says? -- can you all make suggestions about workarounds if you have had
a similar problem?
--can you all help me to figure out what kind of equipment and programs
I would need to do this on my own?  

Thanks in advance for advice and help! 

Danielle Glassmeyer
English Department 
Bradley University

Learn to speak like a film/TV professor! Listen to the ScreenLex

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite