Is it permissible for me to show a DVD or video tape to my class that I rented or bought?”’
The performance or display of a copyrighted work by instructors or students in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or “similar place devoted to instruction” is permissible. The copy used for showing must be a lawful copy. (See: Viewing Movies and Other Audiovisual Works: Public Performances to Meet Educational Needs)
How is a “classroom or similar place devoted to instruction” defined?
Unfortunately, the law at present does not define what a “similar place devoted to instruction” means. If a work is shown outside the actual class time of a course, some educational discussion, introduction, commentary, etc. is advised for this to be considered a permissible performance of the work.
What if I want to stream a video or DVD so that my students may view it outside of class time, but for purposes of a particular course?”’
Instructors may show audiovisual works in an online instructional environment so long as the following conditions are met:
- The work must be directly related and of material assistance to the teaching of the course content.
- The work must be made under the direction of an instructor as an integral part of a class session.
- The work must be offered as a regular part of the mediated instructional activities similar to the type of performance that would take place in a live classroom setting.
- The transmission must be made solely for and reception of the transmission restricted to the students officially enrolled in the course.
- Information must be provided that the item is protected by the Copyright Act.
- Reasonable technological measures must be applied to prevent:
- retention of the work in an accessible form by the recipients of the transmission;
- unauthorized further dissemination of the work to others; and
- bypassing technological measures used by copyright owners to prevent retention and/or unauthorized further dissemination.
Can I legally show a DVD from another region or a video tape in a different format?
It is permissible to watch a lawfully obtained copy of a non-region 1 DVD on a non-region 1 DVD player or to reset the region code setting of DVD-ROM drives in computers and to view alternative video tape formats on multi-format players.
It is not permissible to copy a video tape or DVD for purposes of converting the item from one format or region to another!