Video requires special consideration because, in addition to the Fair Use allowances, Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code allows for "performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction." LITS provides the services and resources below to facilitate course use. Other uses may require public performance rights. Repurposing video in the course of a project or assignment may also present special challenges.
LITS subscribes to the Kanopy streaming service, which includes a wide variety of documentaries, indie and foreign films, classics, and blockbuster movies. Our Kanopy license allows for group viewing both inside and outside of classroom instruction. Please note that commercial streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon, are for "home use" only.
LITS can also digitize and stream MHC library owned videos (from DVD or VHS) but, to comply with copyright, only if they are integral to the classroom experience of a course. These streaming videos are only available to registered students in the course through the course's password protected Moodle site. Faculty can find details at How to Submit Video Requests.
In order to comply with copyright and Fair Use, LITS' policy on this is as follows:
Section 108 of the U.S. Code includes provisions for libraries and archives to make replacement copies of published works in their collections if the work is "damaged, deteriorating, lost or stolen, or if the existing format in which the work is stored has become obsolete". It is (unfortunately!) not yet legally settled as to whether VHS is truly "obsolete". LITS will stream from VHS when the use meets our policy criteria, because we can control authentication and restrict further redistribution through Moodle. We will not reformat VHS onto DVD.
LITS does not reformat video for personal use. If a faculty member wishes to have a video streamed for course use, please see above under Streaming Video. LITS can stream from either DVD or VHS, so long as the use is covered by our policy above.
If you wish to have video reformatted for personal use (e.g. convert your VHS to DVD), there is equipment in the MEWS for you to do this work. If you do not yourself own the copyright to the video, you will need to consider your situation.
Section 108 of the U.S. Code includes provisions for libraries and archives to make replacement copies of published works in their collections if the work is "damaged, deteriorating, lost or stolen, or if the existing format in which the work is stored has become obsolete". It is both (a) not yet legally settled as to whether VHS is truly "obsolete" and (b) Section 108 covers reformatting for library collections, not for individuals. LITS, therefore, cannot reformat materials that are not part of our collections. You will need to assess your situation and make your own decisions.
For more information, see The Definitive Guide to the VHS Apocalypse for the College of Charleston: Copyright and Fair Use.
If you wish to use video in your coursework or project, please see Legal Sources for Multimedia Projects Guide. This guide offers resources to assist in locating materials in public domain or under Creative Commons licensing. Students working on multimedia projects are encouraged to use copyright-free materials or apply Fair Use principles to copyrighted materials. It is your responsibility to use these materials wisely and follow the law.