Big win for educators! Streaming video copyright case dismissed

Yesterday, a United States District Court in California dismissed the copyright suit that Ambrose Video and the Association for Informational Media and Equipment (AIME) brought against UCLA. Ambrose Video and AIME claimed that UCLA infringed copyright when it digitized and streamed library DVDs to course management systems for educational purposes.  The case was dismissed primarily on two grounds — the plaintiffs did not hold the copyright of any of the works allegedly infringed and state sovereign immunity protected UCLA from suit in a federal court.  The court also ruled that making temporary copies to stream DVDs was a fair use and that streaming did not implicate the distribution right but only the public performance right.  UCLA had public performances licenses for the DVDs streamed to course management systems.  In addition, the use was educational because only enrolled students could access the content.

Carrie Russell, Director
Program on Public Access to Information
Office for Information Technology Policy

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