Re: video previews and videotape renting
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Posted by M. Arthur Auslander on September 26, 2000 at 05:14:56:
In Reply to: video previews and videotape renting 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
: Chad Bertrand
Dear Mr. Bertand,
Even if you are right, and I don't think you are, you could be sued. The cost of defense could be a terrible burden.
Yes there is a "Fair Use". My quick understanding of the law does not bring you into a "Fair Use".
M. Arthur Auslander
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
505 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
212-594-6900, fax 212-244-0028, email@example.com
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