copyright question -- Use of screenplays for educational purposes

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For a class in screenwriting, we would like to use a few screenplays taken from IMSDB, of produced films, as examples. Do we need to clear copyright or will its use be protected by the “Fair Use” provision? Can we analyze in class and reproduce copies for the students based on “fair use” for educational purposes?

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Esmeralda Garbi

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Posted 2 years ago

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gromit82, Champion

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Esmeralda: The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDB) is not affiliated with the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) despite their similar names. Therefore, you may have to look elsewhere for advice regarding whether your planned use of the screenplays is "fair use".
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The Idiot Savant

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My understanding of copyright law is that you're good to go and it would fall under the Fair Use provision.

There are generally four factors to consider:
  • the purpose and character of your use.
  • the nature of the copyrighted work.
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and.
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.
Source: Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center

You can find more information at Stanford's website.  This link is specific for your purpose and quotes caselaw:

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/academic-and-educational-permissions/proposed-fair-use-guidelines/
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bderoes, Champion

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@Esmeralda Garbi

The IMSDb site has its own statement about copyright/usage, linked at the bottom of their pages, link labeled Disclaimer:
http://www.imsdb.com/disclaimer/

Disclaimer
Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
All scripts on this site are educational purposes only. None of the scripts are/or will be sold by IMSDb.com.
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The Idiot Savant

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Nice. Good work, I missed that one.

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