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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Shakespeare on Film Course
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1404  Thursday, 7 June 2001

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Jun 2001 19:36:03 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course

[2]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 12:13:31 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course

[3]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Jun 2001 22:11:39 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Jun 2001 19:36:03 +0100
Subject: 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course

Michael Friedman asks,

> So, my question is, does anyone have any experience with
> seeking permission from copyright holders to show more
> extended digital clips, or a series of short clips?  Is such
> permission relatively easy or difficult to obtain?  Do they
> charge a permission fee?  Any help would be greatly
> appreciated.

Copyright holders will, in most cases, ignore your enquiry because they
can't see how to make money from what you're doing. By ignoring you,
they reserve the right to object later.

Don't bother seeking permission but instead proceed as you planned,
bearing in mind the guiding question 'could I be hurting the copyright
holder's business interests?' Only if someone were likely to watch your
clips rather than renting or buying the film would the copyright holder
have a case worth taking to court. If you keep your extracting with
reasonable limits (say, not near half the whole film), no-one really
minds. Indeed, secretly most copyright holders like the thought that
their property is worth teaching.

Lawyers who specialize in intellectual property rights will refute what
I've said. That's because they HAVE worked out a way to make money from
what you're doing.

LEGAL STATEMENT The above opinion is given with a full guarantee that
nothing bad will happen to those who follow it*. Gabriel Egan personally
indemnifies all who follow this advice.

Gabriel Egan

*At least, nothing that wouldn't have happened anyway, like forgetting
your umbrella or having a fatal accident.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 12:13:31 -0700
Subject: 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course

> does anyone have any experience with seeking
> permission from copyright holders to show more extended digital clips,
> or a series of short clips?  Is such permission relatively easy or
> difficult to obtain?  Do they charge a permission fee?  Any help would
> be greatly appreciated.

It is my understanding that the limit is 10 minutes; and if you contact
whoever holds the rights they will most likely give it to you
(especially if you've already purchased the source tapes you are using)
if you limit your use to educational study and don't try to sell the
results (unless it's Disney; they'll always give you an unqualified
NO).  However, some of the new technology does not allow copied clips to
be played on certain machines!

I was recently in a workshop learning to create iMovies which I envision
as exactly what you want to do...it's a simple way to digitally edit
together several scenes from several different sources, and then put
back onto a VHS tape for ease of viewing, or show directly from the
computer; you can also incorporate text and still shots; I believe the
PC equivalent is called Premier...but someone was using clips of
Jurrasic Park and they wouldn't show up on the digital camera (we were
having trouble with our VCR connection and were going to use the digital
video camera as a source into the TV).  So I'd be more worried about the
technology working!

Best of luck!
Susan.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Jun 2001 22:11:39 -0400
Subject: Shakespeare on Film Course
Comment:        SHK 12.1390 Shakespeare on Film Course

I'm not sure, but I was under the impression that educational uses such
as your class were allowed under copyright law; it's not like you're
trying to profit from the video clips. I would try to get some
professional advice.

FYI, it's been my experience that most publishers are very flexible when
it comes to non-profit uses of material. I recently directed a school
play and was given permission to videotape the play AND sell copies in
house to raise funds for the drama program (in a public high school). If
you're open and above board, any decent company should be willing to
allow you to teach your class with the resources you want to use!

Good luck,
Paul E. Doniger

P.S. I, for one, would like to know the outcome of your efforts. I think
many of us could be in a similar situation, and your experience would be
of value to us all.

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