video previews and videotape renting
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Posted by Chad Bertrand on September 26, 2000 at 01:14:10:
I run an online video store that sells videotapes from different manufacturers. At one point in time, I had media
clips (playable movie files) made from the videos I was selling, for the
potential customer to preview. I was told this was a copyright
violation, and threatened with legal action if I did not remove them.
Not knowing much about the law, I removed them immediately.
However, Americans have a wealth of legal information on the net, and in
my research I came across a term called "Fair Use". Two of the preamble
purposes of Fair Use are criticism and comment. Can I use this clause
review the videos I am selling, using footage from the tapes, to create
a report? And can I post these reports on my site?
I also personally own many of the videos that I sell. The videotapes I
own are legally manufactured, owned or transferred units. Every piece
was actually bought, every copyright owner was paid. From what I can
understand, as long I do not duplicate these videotapes, I am allowed to lend,
sell, or rent them. I am the owner of the physical container (the
videotape), and I have distribution rights on that container.
However, I was told that if I tried to rent the videos I owned, it would
violate copyright as an 'unauthorized distribution'. I was also told
renting privileges would cost me licensing fees.
All the research I have done tonight, seems to tell me they are somewhat
misinformed. Is there truth to what they say or I within my rights to
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