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Re: a new thread/Multimedia

Date: Sat, 1 Feb 1997 10:30:56 -0400
From: Stan Diamond <>
Subject: Re: a new thread/Multimedia

>Stan Diamond asked the a question the other day (reproduced below), which
>caused me to get out the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia
>and to dust them off. (snip snip)
>1. The "bright lines" established in Section 4 (Limitations) feel very
>definite (and very much constrained)  particularly with respect to portion
>limitations.  (snip snip)

I agree that on the surface, the portion limitations appear very
restrictive, and I can say that even getting to that point was the result
of exceedingly lon and arduous negotiations. However, if one carefully
considers that the intent of these guidelines was to address the very
specific issues related tothe creation of multimedia teaching packages and
if one carefull considers the essence of what a multimedia package is...
they may appear much more workable.

Any individual multimedia teaching project would by its nature be focused
around a central core of creative work and writing of the instructor. He
would then want to add photographs, text excerpts, video clips, audio clips
etc to illustrate and amplify his work and the points he is trying to make.
By its very nature, a multimedia work would not include long pieces of
media even if it were allowable. The central concept of multimedia is its
interactivity, branching and multithreading of the content to stimulate
active participation and learning. An individual project may well include
hundreds or thousands of different pieces of media and / or text to support
the central focus of the instructor. Perhaps one of the most important
thing that these guidelines provide to educators is the freedom to digitize
(copy and change format of) pieces of media  and keep and use them for an
extended time period without having to get permission. Even if one felt
that fair use provides more freedom than these guidelines (and I would
argue that it does not) the task of applying the four factors affecting
fair use to hundreds or thousands of separate pieces of media would in
itself be an onerous task.

The multimedia guidelines were intended to address the very specific issues
related to the creation of a very powerful but unique teaching tool. It was
never intended by the CONFU working group that these particular guidelines
would allow an instructor to digitize entire works or large portions of
works to make them more available to their students or easier for them to
access them during a class.

>2.  Note something very interesting, related to our fair use discussion
>on this list.  Section 6.7 reads:  "Fair use and these guidelines shall
>not preempt or supersede licenses and contractual obligations."  Now,
>there's a view of the relationship between copyright (at least the fair
>use part of it) and licenses!  As Stan says, a large number of
>organizations endorsed this Multimedia draft.  This leads me to think
>that a large number of influential people in the information community
>believe that licenses trump copyright, right?

I would be very interested in further discussion of contract and licenses
vs. Fair Use. The working group that approved this language included high
ranking members of the Copyright office of the Library of Congress, members
of the Patents and Trademarks office of the Department of Commerce,
numerous attorneys specializing in entertainment and copyright law as well
as the Representatives Morehead and Schroeder of the House Committee on the

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