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Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against University For Streaming Instructional Videos

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging UCLA's practice of streaming previously purchased DVD video content for educational purposes.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit charging UCLA with violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other provisions of copyright law by ripping DVDs and streaming them to students.

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."

The DMCA s prohibiting circumventing copy protection that controls access to a work, and aalso bans "trafficking" in circumvention tools. But since the plaintiffs focused their arguments on the trafficking provisions of the DMCA and ignored the circumvention provisions, the Judge didn't address it.

"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."

The Court's full ruling is available here.(pdf)

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