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Eyes on the (Dark) Screen?

Downhill Battle reports on a teacher in Virginia who has apparently abandoned plans to screen Eyes on the Prize for students on February 8, “after a threat of lawsuit from the ‘licensee level’.” (I picked this up at BoingBoing.)

The post includes indignant but wrongheaded protests about free speech and fair use, and equally righteous and highly ignorant comments like this one: “The documentary is intellectual property, and you can’t use it freely any more than you can take a book from the bookstore for free.”

Does anyone actually read the Copyright Act? Take a look at section 110, subparagraph (1). Teachers who show copyrighted films to their students in class are not infringing anyone’s copyrights. Period. No permission or license is necessary, and fair use is irrelevant.

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