Audiovisual Works

Using Audio-Visual Materials

Lawfully made or purchased videotapes or DVDs may be shown in the face-to-face classroom when the purpose of the performance or display is educational. Material labeled “Home Use Only” may be shown in a classroom as long as it is for educational purposes.

According to the TEACH Act, only "reasonable and limited" portions of VHS and DVD audiovisual works may be digitized and streamed for the online classroom. An exception to this may be stated in the license agreement that CMU has with the work's vendor. See the Using Copyrighted Works -- In the Online Class section for more information on this.

A videotape or DVD may not be shown publicly (i.e. to an uncontrolled group and outside of the classroom) without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder.

Using Recorded Broadcast Programming

The guidelines below are excerpted from the Guidelines for Off-Air Taping for Educational Purposes and apply only to off-air recording by non-profit educational institutions. By observing these guidelines you are within the limits off acceptable use.

  • A broadcast program (including cable programs) may be recorded off-air and retained by a non-profit educational institution for a period not to exceed the first forty-five (45) consecutive calendar days after the date of recording. Upon conclusion of such retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed.
  • Off-air recording may be used once by individual teachers in the course of relevant teaching activities and repeated once only when instructional reinforcement is necessary during the first ten (10) consecutive schools days in the forty-five (45) day calendar day retention period. Using such a recording for instructional purposes after the ten-day period of lawful use is prohibited.
  • After the first ten (10) consecutive schools days, off-air recordings may be used up to the end of the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period only for teacher evaluation purposes. i.e., to determine whether or not to include the broadcast program in the teaching curriculum, and may not be used non-evaluation purposes without authorization.
  • Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of and used by individual teachers and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of usage. No broadcast program may be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast.
  • A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet the legitimate needs of instructors under these guidelines. Each additional copy shall be subject to all provisions governing the original recording.
  • Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs may not be altered from their original content under any circumstances. Off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations.
  • All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.
  • Educational institutions are expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain the integrity of these guidelines.

Please remember that the guidelines above only define the limits of acceptable use. If you wish to use material beyond the scope mentioned above you may do so, but you will first need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. If you need assistance obtaining permission, contact the Course Reserves and Copyright Services office.

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