|EDUCATIONAL USES OF MEDIA
Frequently Asked Questions about the
2009 educational exemption to the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal to bypass the software "locks" on DVDs and other digital media, colloquially known as Digital Rights Management. Every three years, however, the Copyright Office of the United States reviews petitions to create specific exemptions to this ban on circumvention. In the 2006 rulemaking, University of Pennsylvania professors Peter Decherney, Katherine Sender, and Michael Delli Carpini successfully petitioned for an exemption for media professors making clips for teaching purposes. Not only was their exemption granted, but they persuaded the members of the Copyright Office to reconsider the methodology used to evaluate potential exemptions. As a result, the exemption process began to come into line with fair use, and the door was opened for more and broader exemptions. In the 2009 rulemaking, Decherney, Sender, and Delli Carpini were joined by a coalition of organizations to propose an expanded exemption. They were again successful, and the new exemption now applies to all "professors" who make clips for teaching. It also applies to documentary filmmakers, anyone making clips for noncommercial uses, and media studies students. The exemption only applies when clips are made from DVD for the purpose of criticism and comment, but it covers a wide range of activities undertaken educators and students. The exemption will need to be renewed and updated in 2012. To help with the renewal and possible expansion of the exemption, it would be valuable if you sent stories about your use of the exemption and, if applicable, your need for a broader exemption. You can read the related rulemaking documents at www.copyright.gov/1201. Questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students; (ii) Documentary filmmaking; (iii) Noncommercial videos.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you have to be a full-time faculty member to use the exemption?
|Questions? Contact Peter Decherney at email@example.com|