Monday, June 04, 2012

DMCA hearing, part 1

Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, Section 1201 Hearing

Proposed Classes to be discussed:

7F. Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students.

7G. Audiovisual works (optical discs, streaming media, and downloads) that are  lawfully made and acquired when circumvention is accomplished by college and university students or faculty (including teaching and research assistants) solely in order to incorporate short portions of video into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment.

8.   Lawfully accessed audiovisual works used for educational purposes by kindergarten through twelfth grade educators.

Peter Decherney, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania.  Proponent for proposed Class 7G.

2010 exemption has had a direct and palpable positive impact across disciplines: from film studies to biology, can use clips to educate.  Some limitations still pose real harms.  Update exemption by including students as well as faculty and including HD images that have become commercial/educational standard.  All faculty and students need high quality images to get a high quality education.  The exemption hasn’t led to abuses but has improved the quality of teaching. Proposed expansions allow existing exemption to match the pace of innovation/technology.  Media are now totally integrated into the curriculum—routine elements of academic communication. Reduce in class lecture time and allow greater participation: in class presentations for peers and collaborative projects. Students in all disciplines need ability to use HQ images for own work.  In every discipline, students learn multimedia editing (the way they learn word processing).

Penn professor of urban studies Lamas: teaches students to communicate in many genres, which trains students to bring advocacy to different audiences.  Now creating video essays.  What quality of images should they use?  Like asking what vocabulary they should be allowed to use—weak verbs/passive voice?  No, effective vocabulary.  And effective vocabulary changes over time.

DVDs not enough.  Educators & students analyze protected media as part of their day to day activities. It’s necessary to have HQ images because depth of analysis rises with quality.  NYT: difference between Blu-Ray and DVD is very obvious.  Citizen Kane example: Increased depth of field, chiaroscuro—much closer to the image as the director/cinematographer intended and closer to the original spectator’s experience.  People have written about how the background in Citizen Kane reflects on the foreground and has political commentary; Blu-Ray allows you to see that.

Second, viewers, especially students, have become accustomed to HQ: pay attention, understand more when they see the HQ they expect. Even DVDs that looked HQ 3 years ago now look muddy/pixellated—watching DVD of Avatar is like watching through dirty glasses. Affect is integral to teaching in many fields; analyzing media requires attention to emotional responses, as does marketing.  History of science: uses film clips to illustrate accounts of synthetic humans.  Requires close analysis. 

Final and related reason HD is necessary: they’ve become the consumer standard. Don’t teach with microfilm when the original manuscript is available: experience the impact of the original.  Students need access to media to analyze and make sense of their world.

Alternatives: unfortunately none meet our needs.  Online clip libraries: don’t offer a fraction of titles currently used in classrooms.  Cellphone capture: introduces distortion; screen capture limits pixels; some don’t work with Powerpoint making them useless; framerate is very low, 15 fps, less than half of Blu-Ray.

Understands desire to protect interests, but these don’t harm copyright owners and represent established fair uses.  Real harm to higher education; exemptions can allow media to be used in appropriate ways by faculty and students; please respond to evolution in education by updating.

Jonathan Band, Counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance. Proponent of proposed Class 7F.

Asking for existing exemption to be renewed.  A couple of points: film clips are widely used through higher education.  Pervasive in the way students and faculty view the world; hard to teach without including this content, which is flattering.  Commenters didn’t seem to object to renewal of the exemption but claim there’s some kind of misuse, b/c lower quality alternatives are available.  A couple of points: screen capture tech—but they won’t identify which tech they consider to be non circumvention.  In LA, this issue came up and rightsholders wouldn’t identify which tech they consider kosher.  Even if there were such tech, there could be some other rightsholder out there who claims it is circumvention.  Saying there’s tech out there doesn’t translate into an effective alternative on the ground, where we need certainty as we work with large numbers of faculty and students.

Quality is always needed.  If the rightsholders think quality is important in the product—they made it HQ for a reason—baffling why that quality would be less important in the classroom than when you’re watching it in your basement at home.  Authenticity is important; expectations are important—lower quality can be distracting.  Special effects that looked real in our childhood now look absurd.

Finally, logical problem: if screen capture is so good, there’s no point in having CSS/encryption.

Martine Courant Rife, Professor of English, Lansing Community College.  In support of proposed Classes 7B, C, and G.

Exemptions are being implemented successfully.  Almost half of all undergrads attend community college; expansion of exemption was helpful because community colleges have many fewer resources than typical research university. Being able to use legally obtained works was very helpful, as well as being able to use it for non-media studies exemptions.  At her college, she and a colleague have put together a workshop to teach how to implement the exemption ethically and thoughtfully.  Well attended—30-40 faculty/administrators at each workshop.  Her colleague uses the exemption on a day to day basis.

Creative writing instructor uses clips of Wizard of Oz to show how to construct narrative tension and strategies used to build stories.  Econ professor uses clips from famous/popular movies to illustrate economic concepts. Astronomy prof uses clips to show principles of astronomy for discussion.  First year writing: an important category; we have organizations that put forth best practices.  National Council of Teachers in English etc.  Protocols for curriculum: all organizations tell us we should be teaching digital/info literacy, which goes to the heart of the exemption.  One first-year learning outcome: students should be able to use electronic environments for editing, sharing, drafting texts.  When something is legal, we can teach about it.  When it isn’t legal, then it’s hard to address it in the classroom.  What’s happening on YouTube: these videos are being created, but until we can address it in the classroom we can’t teach about how to properly do something they’re already doing.

David Carson, Copyright Office: you said that standard was about text.  How does that translate to the use of motion pictures?

Rife: When I say text, we don’t just refer to typed text.  A text can be a montage.  Student created a parody of popular movies with racial stereotypes.  Many teachers are having students create texts that can be video.  We think students should know how to create numerous types of texts—that’s what they’re asked to do in their jobs, create video as well as written.  Increasing number of teachers are trying to teach this and create professional development materials.

Carson: have you used the exemption?

Rife: Yes.  I show speeches to show the art of persuasion, my field of study.

Renee Hobbs, Professor and Founding Director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island.  Proponent for proposed Class 8.

Current law limits educational uses.  HQ images are ubiquitous to young people; poor quality clips lose their impact when learners are distracted by the bad image and sound quality.  Perceptions of quality also change over time/generations.  Bad clips are painful/distracting to watch.  HQ clips are important to fine/performing arts, science, film studies; not just for detailed analysis but for their larger communicative value as conveyers of ideas and information.  DVDs are often the only forms available; digitization is required for effective classroom use.

Alternatives: use of media compilation websites isn’t viable because internet access in many school communities is unreliable, restricted, and filtered.  Does 15-20 events in public school districts across the country each year; 50% block YouTube.  Even if a school district permits that, limited resources are available, and what is there has been edited in ways that may or may not be suitable for specific educational needs. Ads before and during clips are problematic; they change even if the teacher has previewed the clip before viewing. 

Smartphone/screencapture not viable.  Workshop in Lawrenceville NJ: talking about challenges he faced with screencapture.  Reported that running Netflix blocked Camtasia (popular screencap software).  Another teacher: looking at how representation of sports reflects and shapes our views.  Wants to analyze Madden games but needs examples.  Seeks to have students make connections between classroom and culture.

Teachers are frustrated in efforts to watch media without clips—having to fast forward, waiting to switch DVDs, watching ads all have huge educational problems, especially when we are using the classic teaching method of compare and contrast, which by definition requires more than one clip.  One teacher has students compare and contrast Super Mario Bros. from yesteryear and from today—tremendous opportunity for students to see how much has changed.  But that activity is unlawful.  1201 rulemaking was implemented to ensure that the public could continue to engage in noninfringing uses.  Use of media to promote critical thinking contributes to the development of an informed citizenry. Current college graduation rates: 25% of those in high school.  So we need to do this education in high school.

Current alternatives for media instructors are bad—circumvent, use terrible alternatives, or don’t use media.  Media increase perceived relevance of content and enhance recall; exemptions would thus benefit learning.

Spiro Bolos, Social studies teacher, New Trier HS; Affiliated Faculty, Media Education Lab, Temple University.  In support of proposed Class 8.  Public school in affluent district.  Evidence from actual classrooms with real students: testimony intended to show the effect of limiting access to HQ media on actual students.  Normative practice for teachers: many teachers use VHS tapes still. They don’t do it for quality; the only reason is because we teach in 40 minute blocks and VHS can be precisely cued; at least it’s not wasting class time despite loss in quality. New teachers struggle with tech in the classroom and are assessed poorly if they can’t make their transitions as smooth/efficient as possible.  Assumptions: only used Windows because that’s the norm for teachers; used a free program, Jing, to capture media instead of Camtasia.  His district is willing to supply Camtasia ($99/$199/$299) but most educators don’t have access to such resources.  Difficulties: (1) must reserve a quiet room, which is hard to find in a school; his own desk wouldn’t work.  (2) Capture in real time—he’s considered tech savvy in his building, but most people struggle/give up easily. Had to struggle through multiple attempts to get results.  (3) Wait.  Each attempt proceeds in real time.  Jing is a web program that has to be uploaded in order to be useful anywhere else. More waiting.  Sometimes hours for upload.  Also an issue in amount: Jing is capped at 5 minutes.  He wanted to use a clip from Elizabeth, but the clip was 5:30, so no dice. 

Reading The Great Gatsby in comparison to Citizen Kane. Two groups of students, one using a scren grab.  Screen cap group: really hard to understand what was going on; choppiness/lack of AV sync made it really difficult to match up audio and video—student said she couldn’t process both what she was seeing and what she was hearing.  DVD group: has an older quality; dialogue is still clear.

In a political environment where public education is under attack, why is it that some students at college level, a minority in this country, get access to HQ media, whereas at the public education level they get access only to poorer quality media.

Dean Marks, Warner Bros., on behalf of AACS LA.  Opponent of proposed Classes 7D, E, G and 8.  Licensing administrator for AACS, which has 8 founder companies: protection of HD video content and particularly Blu-Ray.  Licenses tech on cost recovery basis.  Can revoke keys for noncompliance, preventing them from playing newly released content.  It’s robust and serves as the foundation for content owners to release premium content to consumers in HD.  It has resisted easy hacks and continues to do so.  AACS managed copy: allows consumers as well as educators through an online server to make an authorized copy of a protected disk to a hard drive: a bound copy.  Will also allow copying to recordable media such as DVDs and SD cards, expected to launch by the end of the year.

Proposed exemptions should be denied; proponents haven’t identified specific works that are unavailable for noninfringing uses.  Blu-Ray hasn’t previously been subject to an exemption, and there’s been no showing of adverse effects on fair use.  Student viewing DVD clip of Citizen Kane said: didn’t see how it could possibly be higher quality.  So saying DVD quality is insufficient is belied by the evidence.

Exemption is a question of balancing adverse effects on fair use v. protecting the integrity of technical measures to encourage content owners to release HQ content.

Some notion that 2010 exemption took away benefits from 2006 exemption because it was limited to DVDs.  But 2006 exemption referred to works in a film/media studies dep’t library; Blu-Ray wasn’t released until then and so wasn’t a subject of the exemptions.  (So materials added to the library after 2006 weren’t covered? That seems clearly wrong.)

Some alternatives to circumvention appear unsatisfactory, but we think they are.  DVDs.  Video capture, video streaming for film studies.  Professional camera can record Blu-Ray displays to HD.  Smartphones can record.  So can managed copying.  Media studies students still have access to work on DVDs, pursuant to prior exemption, which is more than adequate.  One teacher says Applian Replay is really good: easy to use, high quality playback, no problems with syncing.

We examined the product and concluded that it doesn’t violate the DMCA.  We have ID’d Mac compatible capture software that works just as well.  Clip websites like Anyclip have a lot of clips that can be assembled.  Digital copying: 350 titles from WB and Fox alone released with a full digital copy of the product that can be put on a hard drive.  DVD is still king; more than 2x DVD households as Blu-Ray, and 75% of product. DVD is not going away.  Corner cases don’t justify an exemption since alternative formats are available.  Director’s cut/bonus materials are available in a number of noncircumvention ways.

Smartphones and tablets are going to be more ubiquitous than Blu-Ray players, and they all have video recording capability, making it more likely that clips can be easily made and assembled for educational uses.

Bruce Turnbull, Counsel, DVD CCA.  Opponent of proposed Classes 7A-G and 8.  CSS was vital to reassuring content owners to release high quality DVDs.  Led to fast growing demand.  Standards for the proceeding: In order to prevail, proponents have the burden of proof and must demonstrate distinct, verifiable and measurable impacts on purported fair uses.  Must be verifiable problems.  Exemption based on likely future adverse impacts should be made only in extraordinary circumstances.  Proponents must show problems justify exemption in light of all relevant facts, including availability of works using protected format. Anecdotal problems insufficient.  Convenience is insufficient.  Must be sufficient harm to warrant exemption from default rule of upholding ban on circumvention.

Doesn’t object to renewal of exemption for college/univ. profs nor for film studies students, nor for people in libraries/tech dep’ts assisting users otherwise exempt.  Did request clarifications as in written comments. Do object to extension to college/univ. students and K-12 teachers.  Fundamentally, the alternatives available for those users and uses are fully sufficient to meet the needs identified.  Tech day demonstration: Replay worked easily.  Smartphone recording plus video editing software is easy to use and the quality is acceptable: visual details were clear and audio was synced.  Mitch Singer’s demonstration showed how bookmarking can be done with online streaming.  As to cost, the video capture software costs less than $40; smartphones are available to many millions, and video software is less than $50.  DVD-CCA concurs with AACS LA on screen capture’s legality.

Steve Metalitz (with Matt Williams), MSK, representing Joint Creators and Copyright Owners.  Opponent of Classes 7A-G and 8.  Existing exemptions ought to be unpacked and present different issues.  The issue here is less whether the use is noninfringing and more whether there are alternatives that don’t require circumvention.  Burden on proponents is de novo.  We don’t object to a simple renewal of existing exemption as to post-secondary education.
Strong concerns about expansion to cover all access control formats for motion pictures, all students, all educational levels.  Concerned in particular with 8: all educational uses is more expansive.  Video games as AV works: doesn’t understand why circumvention is needed to make the uses Rife talked about.

What has changed over the last 3 years?  A lot of examples where perhaps HD would be better but you see almost no evidence of necessity. The Office has long maintained that this proceeding is not about enabling access to works in a favored/preferred format, but rather whether there’s a substantial burden on a noninfringing use.  Comparing Zoolander with Chaucer used to be fine on DVD; why is Blu-Ray now required? 

Library Copyright Alliance: there’s always going to be a subjective feeling that circumvention is needed; objectively they claim it’s always needed, and so perception of need a meaningless limitation.  Understands why educators want the option, but they haven’t presented compelling arguments to meet their burden.  Potentially millions of people circumventing access controls is worrying.  All students: no compelling case made that this is necessary.  Teachers have privileges that students don’t have.  Battle of the social studies teachers: does the New Trier reaction meet the burden?

Improvements in camcording, video editing, screen capture: this is different from 3 years ago. What’s available commercially in terms of clip sites; MovieClips has available clips allowing PowerPoint embeds. Doesn’t cover all titles, but growing. Ultraviolet presentation from May 11: a real game changer; enables a lot of real time access, or downloaded in many cases, in HD format.  1000s of titles available today.  Disc to digital process started at Wal-mart; soon available in the home.  Over time, probably fast, this will narrow the gap between number of titles available on DVD and through Ultraviolet for classroom uses.  That’s the real change in terms of alternatives, making the exemption less needed and the expansion of the exemption unneeded.

Carson: With Ultraviolet, does that include the ability to take clips from the copy?

A: Ability to cue up and start in one place.  Functionally yes, but not actually.

Carson: responses to what was said by opponents?

Hobbs: Clip websites are not good enough. Turns out that careful selection and curation of AV is part of the responsibility of the teacher in using AV materials.  If you and I were to watch a movie and decide on excerpts, we’d pick different in and out points. Choice of what clip to use is a pedagogical decision: based on students, learning objective, context.  Clip websites are inherently inadequate to educator’s important choices.  Sometimes that choice might be okay, but many other times it will be inappropriate—too long, too short, cut off.

Marks: true that sites don’t allow users to select a clip of their choosing: preformatted clips. But the clip services are just one means of satisfying the pedagogical needs.  Video capture, smartphone, or queing up the DVD or Blu-Ray to the point you want.

Decherney: Bigger issue is the tiny percentage of material available. Survey of 100 courses use video clips, almost none available, only 1/3 made by large studios that are likely to participate in these in the future.

Smartphone: pretty bad.  Choppy, jumpy, framing was off; subtitles; color bleed; image was muted; pixellation.

Managed copying: we’ve heard about it for a long time.  There’s no agreed on format, let alone agreed tech.  It’s vaporware for now.

Screen capture: Interested to hear Marks say it wasn’t circumvention.  If it can be blocked by copy protection, as Renee Hobbs showed occurs with Netflix, then why wouldn’t it be circumvention?

Rife: Smartphone—if we imagine the exemption expanded to include all students, depending on teacher, presence of phones can cause problems, so some schools don’t allow them in class.  Also not all students have smartphones.  Also, smartphones make it more likely to have uncontrolled dissemination over the web. Confined digital space like classroom computer offers a lot more control.

Hobbs: John Dewey said, if you want to learn something, the best way is to construct an example. When students make video with critical commentary, that’s when they learn best. That’s not a new instructional strategy but an established part of teaching and learning.

Bolos: Progressive teaching: evaluation, synthesis, analysis.  Bloom’s taxonomy has been revised by many to include creation. Because creation enables better decoding/critical reading.  Smart phones are very expensive—appear cheap/ubiquitous, but not every kid has access. And it’s still a realtime capture. Takes time.

Queuing up a DVD before class: perhaps you’ve never taught where you don’t have your own room and time is of the essence.

Band: when you teach, you should teach a thing, not the shadow of the thing. There is a value to authenticity. Study in the original language if you can.  If you can study the real work as distributed, that’s better than studying the camcorded version.

Metalitz: the Office has been down this road before.  HD works are available on DVD.  Fair use doesn’t mean you’re entitled to access the best version.

Marks: capturing video/audio after decryption, and thus not circumvention. Can’t say why it didn’t work on Netflix, but did work off of optical disk and streaming services.

Turnbull: May 11 demo: the audio was in sync.  Presence of phones in classrooms: That’s a choice that’s been made by the institution, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the use of a smartphone would be an alternative (comment: that you can’t use).  Also you could do it outside of the classroom.  Doesn’t see how smartphone video is more likely to be disseminated than one on a computer.  (Apparently never heard of sexting.  More seriously: practices within communities are structured though not determined by technology; the smartphone feels more casual and we are used to widely sharing smartphone clips.)

Rife: very frightened about this solution: people are arrested for using smartphones in movie theaters.  I don’t want to encourage my students to do this—if you teach your students to use the smartphone to record video, they’ll do it in the theater.

Band: MPAA showing people how to engage in camcording: we’re encouraging people to camcord in one situation, not the other, but this is a message that won’t work.  A bunch of educators want to do the right thing, and in response to these dedicated teachers trying to put together HQ stuff, telling them to hold up their smartphones is not a simple, easy solution.

Marks: taking advantage of an exemption is only limited to fair uses, so if a student puts up the entire movie on the internet, that’s also illegal. Don’t confuse the issue by exemptions give you a blank check. But that’s precisely our concern: exemptions are perceived as blank checks to circumvent for any purpose and for the entirety of the work.  (Well, that may describe screen capture, but an exemption limited to transformative/primarily noncommercial fair uses actually contains within itself an explanation of what it’s for.)

Assembling clips for educational use requires time whether you’re going to record off the screen in real time or access the unencrypted file and select clips. 

Steve Ruwe, Copyright Office: Cuing up multiple scenes—can you do that through access services?  Minute 2 and minute 15 and minute 30.

Metalitz: you can cue up multiple titles, but doesn’t know about multiple points.  Not sure that Ultraviolet would allow that. Digital copy is here now and will be more prevalent; would be possible to have digital copy on laptop and one accessible through a service, which would be one way to do it.

Marks: doesn’t know, but can try to find out.

Turnbull: managed copy, when it comes—you could devise a program to do that but it’s not here yet.

Ruwe: ability to manipulate.  How does ability to manipulate video depend on quality?  Can’t you just put the pieces together?

Decherney: one major way video is used is by students who edit, add voiceover; when they look at the images, they are analyzing them closely, often side by side, and if you talk about it they realize that they couldn’t focus on it/look at the details. Forced to talk about it at a certain level of abstraction.  Students doing a voiceover over a series of clips on the way commodities circulate and are presented in popular media—blood diamonds, the movie Blood Diamonds, ads.  Close analysis requires quality.

Ruwe: how is the quality of those clips relevant?

Decherney: Go back to Citizen Kane, with a lot of depth of field, one of the things the film is famous for. Bright v. dark in same frame.  Blu-Ray provides a sense of distance you don’t get in the DVD.  Deeper blacks would be useful if you were studying the cinematography, or the sociological perspective when we talk about background commenting on foreground. Blu-Ray actually has a background; DVD has less so.

Ruwe: are there more examples?

Decherney: affective response: look at audiences watching the commercial.  Crisp and sparkling diamond = one response; muddy and unclear = another.  Might also look at it more aesthetically; can we see the diamond clearly on the finger.

Ruwe: what about the student who couldn’t imagine better than the DVD?

Decherney: it’s like a cost of living increase: Avatar is a film sent in 100 different versions so it would look right in every screening context.  Look perfect in Blu-Ray—every single bit of space on disc was for the film, so it didn’t have any extras—that’s the way it’s meant to be shown and studied.

Rob Kasunic: Was able to see depth of field, but what about the blacker blacks, which might distort some parts of the Blu-Ray?  There are a lot of different variables.

Decherney: Exactly right!  They look different, both distorted for different purposes. People study for different types of purposes.  You might want to show both to show how images works.  YouTube video will look different than HD video. 

Kasunic: which is closer to what people saw in the theater?

Decherney: both things are important. We want something close to the original as possible; Blu-Ray is closest to the theoretical number of pixels on a film.  But also, times change; video provides a different experience; important to show different kinds of media.  Affective response: when people saw Citizen Kane originally, they had a powerful realistic experience, but now it looks muddier.

Ruwe: Educational standards for quality?

Rife: advocating for curriculum standards.  Standards relate to the rhetorical impact of any text. A one-page text with 2 paragraphs v. text broken down into 5 paragraphs.  A one-sentence paragraph can bring emphasis.  The same content; but the presentation can change the rhetorical purpose. The quality of the video has to be geared to the purpose and goal of your writing as customized for the impact on the audience. 

Ruwe: so when is high quality necessary?

Rife: when an individual is creating a text, rubrics for evaluation.  If there’s pixellation, students can be marked down for poor image quality.  Clarity of your images is a component of quality. 

Ruwe: Hobbs—what was the act of circumvention required to access video games.

Hobbs: doesn’t necessarily require circumvention yet, but teachers are using a broad array of cultural products that are now normative in youth culture.  Our job as educators is to make a connection between the content and the skills we’re trying to teach and the world our students enter.  We use a wide array of materials.

Ruwe: Libby Drake’s HS course on film techniques—quality seems relevant, but you’re asking K-12.

Hobbs: Project Hobbs did for 7th graders; discussing difference between film and TV, which they don’t necessarily experience.  Can talk about business models, production techniques.  Uses an excerpt from The Princess Diaries and Hannah Montana Movie: you can see the distinction between film style and TV style.  Quality mattered: visuals that allowed us to see the difference.

Ruwe: Camtasia v. Jing: did you have quality problems? 

Bolos: you don’t have a time limit with Camtasia. 

Ruwe: there has to be some threshold with a longer clip—would it be burdensome to queue up just one clip?

Bolos: typically you’re doing more than one; in that particular class with Citizen Kane, we did about 10 clips.  Oftentimes we show different versions of different films: Romeo & Juliet Zeffireli v. Baz Lurhman.

Ruwe: does quality matter there?  Why not use screen capture for that sort of comparison?

Bolos: decoding something, you want the best possible quality, as opposed to struggling with what’s going on—struggling with video and audio.

Kasunic: but that was just one form of screen capture (note that you can’t predict what results you’re going to get with any given DVD)—there’s the premium version, and then a medium version of Camtasia, and then the $40 version.  Have you done experiments with the medium priced version?

Bolos: limited version, but the quality does improve with Camtasia. 

Kasunic: what about the intermediate versions, like Applian.  Seemed fairly good.

Bolos: does not have experience—used Camtasia mostly for screencasting and not capturing video.

Ruwe: did people really have trouble with audio in screen capture?

Bolos: Yes: screen capture captures through the microphone of the computer; poorer quality than straight trip.  Screen capture had to be in silent room.  Kids in other class didn’t have difficulty decoding the audio.

Ruwe: was the DVD cued up?

Bolos: yes.

Carson: how did the audio work?  With this software, the only way you get the audio is through the microphone?

A: yes.

Turnbull: that’s the default for Applian.  There are settings that can be changed in Replay.  (That is a misleadingly incomplete description. You generally can’t set it to capture the audio internally when you are doing other things, like playing DVDs, which I assume is a programming decision to avoid DMCA troubles.)

Hobbs: if you sneeze during the recording it’s on there. It’s designed for capturing demonstrations on the screen.

Bolos: when you capture system audio, you capture beeps and blips from your computer too.

Metalitz: we say if it captures unencrypted signal, then it’s not a violation. As described by the technical study that the other guys did, that seems to describe this particular program they were using. If unencrypted and not protected by some other type of access control, such as the stream from the point at which it was being copied.  In theory an unencrypted stream could be subject to password protection.  (Netflix streaming has a password, by the way.)

Ruwe: if Camtasia worked on Windows but not Mac, why wouldn’t that be ok.

Hobbs: here was a teacher in his lunch hour, chatting with me about the problems he found. When he shared his story: he made a pretty good effort to try screen capture. It failed; he didn’t know exactly why.  Lacked the considerable expertise that someone else might have to spend the time to fix it. That’s a significant obstacle for busy, ordinary people.

Carson: one specific person had difficulties, and we don’t understand why they occurred; isn’t it dangerous to generalize from one?

Hobbs: at every event, teachers come up to me and tell me their problems.  I had 10 minutes and I gave you an example.

Carson: one interview about difficulty isn’t enough. Can we craft an exemption based on his experience?  If Netflix is an issue, not sure we have enough to go on. 

Marks: CSS as access control was irrelevant here.  It wasn’t the access control that prevented the teacher from getting the clip; he couldn’t find his DVD.  If Camtasia didn’t work, that’s a problem of recording but has nothing to do with access control.  (Hunh?  He tried to use Camtasia to do something the opponents said is easy to do, and it wasn’t easy.)

Kasunic: Netflix requires Microsoft Silverlight to access content.  How does this relate to what you’d circumvent if there was an excemption, since this isn’t CSS?  Streaming media exemptions raise these issues w/unnamed protection measures.

Decherney: there are at least 3 types of DRM that advertise the ability to block screen capture.  Now the exemption is limited to DVDs; we did previously had a general exemption that didn’t specify a specific technology.  Don’t see why we should prioritize one technology over another.

Kasunic: all we were talking about at the time were DVDs.  There wasn’t really an intent to deal with digital online content, which was nascent. 

Decherney: it said all AV works, and I thought it meant that.

Bolos: why not use a different platform?  My school does Mac and Windows; our feeder schools are Mac only. This sometimes happens at public schools; it’s not always a choice.

Ruwe: it is a balancing.  How burdensome is it to acquire a different operating system?

Bolos: the school may not support a different platform.

Kasunic: there do seem to be various forms of screen capture software that operate on various platforms.

Marks: we didn’t test Camtasia on streaming capture, just to see how it functioned in terms of capturing content after decryption.

Carson: assume that Applian works, but are you in a position to say that Camtasia works as well?

Marks: our technical firm said that it is as good.

Band: if the quality is the same, why are we here?  Obviously you aren’t able to see the same thing.  Significant qualitative difference.  Kids also are trained to see things differently: I grew up with black & white TV, but kids who grew up in a world of large screen TVs have great difficulty watching a black & white film.

Carson: kids seem happy to watch teeny little screens!

Hobbs: quality can be defined as a fixed dimension, but what Rife was trying to say is that quality is a subjective experience. Our experience as educators working with young people is that their expectations about image quality are based on the context, the situation, and the purpose. When I’m walking through a mall, I have one expectation about the film on my smartphone. Sitting in film studies class I have a different expectation. 

Decherney: teaching Charlie Chaplin before DVD: no one laughed when he showed his beat up VHS copy; showed DVD and the students laughed for the first time.  Today it’s the Blu-Ray that would make them laugh. Another example: screen capture all has insufficient framerate, creating jerkiness; there’s bleedthrough; sometimes they have an absolute number of pixels they’ll capture that doesn’t match Blu-Ray or other formats.  One professor who studied early Russian filmmaker—he tried to pace the editing in a way so you can perceive cuts—there’s one frame that is a single image.  Camtasia: 50% chance that this frame would have been dropped.

Metalitz: we aren’t saying the quality is the same, we’re saying it’s acceptable.  Quality is subjective: people will never say it’s okay to use screen capture.  Of course teachers want high quality, but this is a balancing process. Cost of permitting exemption is that we have 200 million people entitled to circumvent this protection. Have to ask yourself what’s the tradeoff versus necessity for robust access controls to allow dissemination.

Marks: assume the quality is the same. Band is asking why we bother: we bother because of what happened to the music industry, where CDs were in the clear and people easily made full copies. That led to a lot of unauthorized use and a perception this is ok to do. That’s why we apply access controls so it’s not easy and seamless to make copies.  Video capture is a deliberative act, not just drag and drop.  If we thought access controls provided no protection, we wouldn’t apply them.  We aren’t saying don’t use cultural products in the classroom.  It’s great to see the Mona Lisa, but not everyone gets to go to the Louvre, so you use satisfactory copies instead.  This notion of “if the highest quality is there we should have access to it” falls apart.

Decherney: bringing every student to the Mona Lisa, if possible, would be a good thing.  Conjectural: but we have 7 years of evidence from DVDs, and we haven’t seen any massive abuse or degradation of the DVD market due to the exemption.

Carson: is that right?

Turnbull: DVD sales have gone up ‘til 2005 and down since then.

Carson: can you trace that to the exemption?

Turnbull: not saying that it’s the exemption; can’t say it did or didn’t have an effect with certainty.  (With all the people who’ve been sued for sharing files, you can’t?)

Metalitz: we don’t object to the renewal of the existing exemption for a limited category of users and products.

Hobbs: there are 3 million teachers in American public schools, 40% with masters’ degrees. Ave. teacher is 54 and will be teaching for 15 more years.  Using technology supports innovation in education.  No reason to distinguish between K-12 and community college professors.

Kasunic: to what extent is there confusion about the existing exemption?

Rife: the focus on quality is premised on the idea that your purpose is to reproduce what someone else created; we’re looking at making something new that’s their own work. Why wouldn’t you want the components of your work to be high quality?  Why is it acceptable to tell a student that they can have a pixellated image of the Mona Lisa because what they’re saying isn’t that important?

Kasunic: is the exemption seen as authorizing circumvention in all cases?

Rife: when I do the workshop, they ask what students can do?  The current language has an ambiguity about noncommercial use/documentary—or are students not allowed to do it just because they’re students.  They’re already included indirectly.  There is no evidence of harm.  She sees barriers to keep us from doing it at all.  Imagine a room of 40 students watching a current movie and I tell them to take out their cellphones and take a clip for a montage.  That’s not a message you can communicate to students.

Ruwe: if you’d shown the class a screen capture version of Charlie Chaplin, would they have laughed? 

Decherney: I’ve never seen a screen capture ready to be run in my class.  It wouldn’t serve them well.  We have screen capture available, but it’s not up to par.

Rife: tried Camtasia to take clips.

Ruwe: but sometimes it has worked.

Band: they’re trying to teach, and spending a lot of time figuring out every possible software application is not a good use of your time when there’s a simple solution out there that won’t cause any harm.  Burdening non-technologist teachers to find multiple workarounds seems shortsighted.

Kasunic: what do you use?

Decherney: DVDshrink & Handbrake, both free. Handbrake: gets better all the time; can choose short portions.  Hasn’t used ACSoft for Blu-Ray, but well reviewed.

Ruwe: have you reevaluated screen capture since 2009?

Decherney: definitely improved, but hasn’t kept pace with technology.  Worked with students at AU, trying Camtasia and Snapz pro.  We tried different settings, top of the line equipment.

Bolos: ultimately it’s the time that you spend that’s lost.  Ripping a CD is instantaneous and is a deliberate action.  The time you spend as an educator with 25 students in a lab is significant.

Turnbull: we demonstrated a screen capture program used by a real teacher on May 11 in real time. (No, you didn’t. You demonstrated his results.)  He integrated them into his classroom presentation.  Can’t speak to why Camtasia didn’t work; our lab uses it regularly.

Marks: Media and film classes often show lots of clips; that’s a concern, but for many educational uses you’ll show one clip; the original is available for use.

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