Using Video Clips for Instruction
An instructor creates a "digital library" of movie scenes from several films for her students to review. She obtains digital versions of the films, burns selected scenes onto a DVD, and distributes them to each of her students.
Using digital versions of audiovisual materials for instruction depends on a careful four-factor fair use analysis. And, because fair userequires case-by-case analysis the instructor would need to consider separately each movie clip included on the DVD, paying attention to the size of each clip and its relationship to the essence of the film. In general, films are creative in nature and this would weigh against fair use at the second factor (i.e., "nature of the work"). However, if the instructor uses only small, discrete portions necessary for the instructional purpose, this could weigh in favor of fair use at the third factor (i.e., "amount and substantiality of the portion used"). After conducting a four-factor fair use analysis, if the instructor chooses to proceed with the use, she should advise her students against further distribution and the copyright status of each of the works on the DVD.