Thanks, CW, for your input on this issue. As Kevin Smith noted, when writing
about the unfortunate AIME v UCLA case...
"We routinely assume that “contracts trump copyright;” libraries are told that
all the time regarding the databases they license, and they often pass the
message on to users. It is generally correct. In one of the most cited cases
on this point, ProCD v. Zeidenberg, Judge Easterbrook of the 6th Circuit held
that a contract creates rights only between the specific parties and thus those
rights are not “exclusive” and so not preempted. But the question remains
somewhat unsettled, and UCLA is exploiting an apparent loophole in the general
rule that we have mostly taken for granted."
While the particulars of that case are different than what we are talking
about, it's good to keep Smith's post in mind: contracts [such as the license
we agree to when we stream from Amazon] may not always trump copyright. Maybe
107 or 110 could work. Maybe not.
It sounds like we need a test case. Volunteers?
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:24:55 -0400
From: Andrew Horbal <ahor...@umd.edu>
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Amazon Prime
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
I think this might bring us back to 110(1)! If it's not clear whether a
classroom screening is "personal" or "public," perhaps it could be either
depending on the circumstances? I strongly suspect that your professor who
invites the entire campus to a screening isn't complying with the
requirement in 110(1) that the screening must be "in the course of
face-to-face teaching activities," which would mean that even if this
license is written vaguely enough that such activity is allowable under the
terms of the contract, it would still constitute a copyright violation.
In summary: as numerous people have pointed out, if you sign a contract,
you must comply with the terms of that contract. In this case, the question
is whether or not the license we've been discussing excludes a behavior
(screening the film to a class) that otherwise would be allowed under
110(1). There's enough ambiguity here that I personally would feel
comfortable concluding that it doesn't. You have concluded otherwise, which
is fine: I don't see any reason why we can't agree to disagree!
License writers take heed: perhaps you should consider wording more exact
than "personal uses only" when telling people what they are and are not
permitted to do!
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