Prof. Michael J. Madison makes a very nice point connected to the "Eyes on the Prize" documentary controversy (about not being able to sell the documentary in the U.S. b/c of expired copyright licences). People are getting very worked up about this, and it has translated to whether people can show the film in the classroom
Professor Madison writes,
"Does anyone actually read the Copyright Act? Take a look at section 110, subparagraph (1). Teachers who show copyrighted films to their students in class are not infringing anyone’s copyrights. Period. No permission or license is necessary, and fair use is irrelevant. "
(At Copyfight, they have a discussion on the more subtle issues involved with "Eyes on the Prize," as well as a copy of Section 110. But my point here is broader -- it's a good time to remind teachers that they can show films and anything else in their class without having to get a license or anything else.)
See Copyfight , "Teaching Still Legal" by Donna Wentworth at http://www.corante.com/copyfight/archives/032835.php
I think this is very very important point that teachers are often not aware. Show what you want in class. That's your right. Use it! Use it! That's part of the Copyright Act.