Arnold Lutzker, an attorney for AIME, said in an eMail message to eCampus News that if UCLA’s streaming precedent isn’t challenged, every college and university in the country could buy one copy of a video and give free access to thousands of students every semester.

“As UCLA indicated, the decision was made unilaterally despite the expressed concern of AIME members and AIME’s effort to seek a fair and responsible solution to the dispute,” Lutzker said. “Based on the facts, UCLA’s justifications for the resumption of streaming … are legally flawed and fundamentally inconsistent with copyright law. The message that UCLA sent AIME and all its members is that they and literally every other university have every right to buy a single copy of a video and stream it to an unlimited number of students forever without permission or compensation to the creator.”

Lutzker continued: “Given that message, AIME members will necessarily consider all their legal options.”

UCLA’s streaming program started in 2005, when the school took faculty requests and collected and converted videos into a streaming format. The campus spends about $45,000 annually to buy media for classroom use, according to its March 3 announcement.

The streamed content—which includes foreign-language films and documentaries for history and sociology courses—is protected against file sharing and copying by students and faculty. The videos are only accessible through the university’s intranet, and students must use a password and prove they are enrolled in a specific course to watch the videos online.

The university will keep video streaming labs open for longer hours this semester. The Media Lab, where students go to watch streaming videos, will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, with more limited hours on Fridays and Sundays.

“The streaming video service directly benefits the learning experience of students,” said Robin Garrell, chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate and professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “It allows them the flexibility to view instructional materials at times that ensure maximum productivity, when they can best contemplate and respond to the materials, and it exposes them to a broader range of educational material.”

Links:

UCLA announcement

Library Copyright Alliance

Association for Information Media Equipment


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