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September 2000, Week 5


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Linda Schwartz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 29 Sep 2000 09:18:45 -0400
text/plain (123 lines)

I will definitely check out the MPLC info.  In regard to the public
library setting,  you have to remember that they are generally lending
the videos for the purpose of use in homes -- they are not showing them
at the public library.

While we might argue that the hospital room is the person's home while
they are in the hospital, I doubt any reasonable person would agree
(unless, perhaps, we are talking about a long-term care facility).  Ask
any patient where their home is and they are not going to say that it is
the hospital room as long as they have a house or apartment elsewhere.

The issue of playing the video in a hospital room is not really related
to how many people view it.  It is the fact that it is being shown in a
public setting that is not a home.

In the article by Futrelle, if a children's cancer unit could not get
away with showing videos to the kids without paying for the performance
rights, I personally wouldn't venture into that arena for an acute care
hospital (my humble opinion).  As for the day care center, they weren't
asked to get the license, they are told to get a license, stop showing
the videos or get a lawyer.

I think the MPLC info is the best guide and I appreciate your summary.

Linda Schwartz, Librarian
St. Luke's Hospital Allentown Campus
1736 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18104
610-770-8355 (voice) 610-770-8736 (fax)  [log in to unmask]

On Thu, 28 Sep 2000 11:31:49 -0500 Wendy Larson <[log in to unmask]>
> I received several responses regarding viewing of videos by patients
> in their rooms.  As I expected, there are conflicting ideas of what
> is legal and what is not.  Below are some opinions and advice
> offered on the subject.
> I did not verify any of these responses.  I feel more confused than
> before, but I hope to get to the bottom or the legalities of this
> issue soon.
> 1)  One person pointed out that public libraries lend videos, and do
> not need special permission for patrons to view videos.
> 2)  Showing of a video for an individual is okay as long as the
> institution has purchased the video.
> 3)  A video purchased for an institution, and viewed in the
> institution requires special public performance rights, because
> anyone could potentially come into the room and view the video as it
> is playing.
> 4)  MLA News by Diane Futrelle - "Recent Legal Developments on
> Showing Videocassettes to
> Patients"  - Performance rights must be granted by the producer of
> the video.  Apparently the "US Copyright Office defines a public
> performance as ANY performance that occurs outside the privacy of a
> person's home."
> 5)  In a 1995 case, a day care center was requested by the Motion
> Picture LIcensing Corporation to purchase performance rights to
> videos shown at the day care
> 6) A hospital room could potentially be considered a home during the
> patient's stay.
> 7)   One person offered this information from Motion Picture
> Licensing Corporation (MPLC)
> Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC)
> 5455 Centinela Avenue
> Los Angeles, CA 90066-6970
> TEL: (800) 462-8855, (310) 822-8855
> FAX: (310) 822-4440
> [log in to unmask]
> Web Site <>
> From MPLC's FAQ:
> Q.  We own the home videocassette, do we still need
>     a license to view or show it in public?
> A.  Yes. The location requires a license regardless
>     of who owns the cassette or disc. While you may own
>     the actual cassette or disc, you are only granted
>     the right to view it in your home, not to perform it
>     in public.
> From MPLC's Page on Copyright Law:
> By law, as well as by intent, the pre-recorded
> videocassettes and videodiscs which are available
> in stores throughout the United States are for
> home use only -- unless you have a license to show
> them elsewhere.
> Rentals or purchases of home videocassettes
> do not carry with them licenses for non-home
> showings. Before you can legally engage in
> non-home showings, you must have a separate
> license which specifically authorizes them.
> Wendy Larson
> Rice Memorial Hospital Library
> 301 Becker Ave. SW
> Willmar, MN 56201
> 320-231-4248 phone
> 320-231-4463 fax
> [log in to unmask]