All disclaimers in place: I don’t hold anybody liable for any misinformation and realize that not all Dopers are copyright lawyers, etc… What I’m really hoping for is somebody who’s dealt with this before (such as a librarian, professor, or artist).
Here’s the situation:
I work at a for-profit school. The library has lots of movies, many of which are studio released films for which we do not have the performance rights. Since some professors seem to think that “fair use” means “if I need to show Cannonball Run 2 for a class, that seems fair”. (Not an actual example, but…)
We’ve been clamping down on this: no, you CAN’T show an entire movie that’s not in public domain, and classroom use exemptions are different for “for profit” institutions. Several professors (some of them lawyers, but not copyright lawyers) have asked the reasonable question “How much of a movie can I show without violating copyright?”
I’ve posed this to the school’s attorney, but he’s not a copyright lawyer and basically said “10 percent or 10 minutes, either one of those should be safe”. In one of those times I wished Dope Laws were national I tried to say “Cite?” but he didn’t. He then said, basically, “when in doubt, don’t show anything at all”, but while showing an entire film is verboten I’m pretty sure showing a 3 minute scene would be alright.
So I’m on an errand: I’m trying to find exactly what is permissible to show in a for-profit setting. I’ve been to the copyright office website, but like most legal and government websites you have to know jargon and exactly what terms you’re lookign for. I’ve found plenty of info on what a not-for-profit school can use, and I’ve found of course that we are forbidden to show the entire movie, but I can’t find how much can be shown without violating copyright (none? half? thirty seconds?).
In googling I’ve found the “10 percent or 10 minutes, whichever is less” rule several times, but never with a cite; while this may well be correct, I’d like to find out officially.
SO… has anyone ever dealt with this and if so do you know the answer? Again, I realize you can’t dispense legal advice, but I’m asking for pointers. (I’m not going to repeat any info professionally without verifying it first anyway.)