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Copyright implications of using ‘off the shelf’ video material.


Can anyone advise me of any copyright implications of using 'off-the-shelf' video material (I am thinking of films and television clips used as icebreakers or to illustrate learning points) in training courses? Can they be used at all and if so what are the restrictions?
Jean Howe

3 Responses

  1. Worth the risk

    I am not a lawyer, however my understanding is that you are not allowed to show any ‘off the shelf’ videos. The exception to this are for education purposes only. These exceptions are for Local Authorities only and do not extend to trainers (commercial or otherwise). The reality is very different as I do use film clips as metaphors and for high impact messages (this is also dependant on my audience). The chances of a large film company prosecuting beacuse you have shown a movie clip must be relatively slim. As long as you are only showing a few minutes then I do not see the harm. Consider also that you are not directly bringing into disrepute the film maker, company or character.

    I have never heard of a trainer being prosecuted or the company they work for. Unless of course someone out there knows different!

    Hope that helps

  2. reply to question
    I have experience of using a TV programme as part of a training package. The short answer to your question is yes you need the copyright owners permission. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ned to know more. [email protected]

  3. an added comment
    Dear Steve Keyes,
    I acept totally that it would seem silly for a film company or TV company to prosecute a trainer for using material that belongs to them especially if it is only a small segment, but try using that argument with Melrose or Video Arts if you have copied fragments of their material and used it. Like you Steve I am not a lawyer but I do Know that most, if not all videos, films and TV programmes carry warnings about unauthorised use.


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