Court dismisses lawsuit challenging UCLA practice of streaming instructional videos
By Steve Ritea October 04, 2011 Category: Campus News
[Update, Nov. 20, 2012: U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall dismissed with prejudice a second amended complaint that had been filed by the plaintiffs. In her dismissal, the judge confirmed for the second time that streaming video content for educational purposes, whether in the physical classroom or virtual classroom, is not an infringement of copyright law.]
In dismissing the copyright lawsuit filed by a video distributor and a trade association for educational video-makers, U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall in Los Angeles ruled Oct. 3 that "the type of access that students and/or faculty may have, whether overseas or at a coffee shop, does not take the viewing of the DVD out of the educational context. The Court finds that the licensing agreement allows [the university] to put the DVD content on the UCLA Internet network as part of the provision of the agreement that [UCLA] could 'publicly perform' the DVD content."
Campus officials applauded the ruling.
"UCLA is pleased that the court dismissed the plaintiffs' lawsuit challenging UCLA's practice of streaming previously purchased video content for educational purposes," said Scott Waugh, UCLA executive vice chancellor and provost. "The court ruling acknowledges what UCLA has long believed, that streaming licensed DVDs related to coursework to UCLA students over UCLA's secure network is an appropriate educational use."
UCLA purchases videos and other media specifically for instructional uses. Content examples include documentaries for history and sociology courses, foreign-language films for linguistics and foreign-language courses, and Shakespeare productions for English courses — all integral to the class instruction of students