Copyright Policy Shift for Education
The Library of Congress on Monday published new copyright rules that give colleges slightly more leeway on the use of certain video materials in class, but some college librarians fear that the changes do not go far enough. The rules are part of a process in which the Librarian of Congress periodically considers exemptions from the general ban on altering without permission technology designed to block unauthorized use of videos or computer programs. The exemption created Monday applies to portions of videos that are held in college libraries and are used in classes by media studies or film studies professors. The regulations are complicated, and college copyright experts said Monday that they were still reviewing them. Pamela Snelson, college librarian at Franklin & Marshall College and president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, said that based on a first analysis, she was pleased to see the exemption added because â€œanything that adds to our availability is good.â€ She also said it was important for copyright officials to see that â€œwe need this material to teach.â€ But she worried that the exemption was â€œtoo narrow,â€ and asked why professors in disciplines beyond film and media studies shouldnâ€™t have the same flexibility for their courses.
A copy of the official announcement is here. This is a good step, and it means they’re paying some attention to our needs. We need to increase the pressure to allow our instructors and our students more leeway in using these works for educational and indeed artistic purposes.