Television Broadcasts

By Leonie Samuelsson

Many schools are taking advantage of the Screenrights Agreement to tape television programs off-air. After making the effort to record these programs for educational use, it is worth considering cataloguing those programs that the school decides to keep.

Cataloguing television broadcasts has a number of advantages:

  • Catalogue records enable specific subject access to individual programs, so you don't have to skim the titles, hoping they accurately reflect the content, check notes made on the containers, or rely on the sometimes vague memories of teachers wanting a particular program.
  • Having a catalogue record of taped off-air programs also helps with the practical 'housekeeping'. It is an easy way of keeping track of the location of programs within the school. Many programs are regularly re-broadcast (especially the ABC education TV programs). If you already have a copy you don't need to waste time making another recording. Since programs are only to be recorded 'for educational use', cataloguing them makes this educational use clear.
  • If all taped broadcasts are coordinated by the library, you can ensure that all copies held in your school are correctly marked, to meet the school's legal requirement under the conditions of the Screenrights Agreement:
    - Reference to the Copyright Act Part VA
    - The name of your school
    - The day on which the broadcast was taped
    - For additional copies, the day on which the copy was made.
  • In addition, if your school is selected as a sample school for checking usage under the Screenrights Agreement, you will need to keep records of all programs taped by your school. Having a centralised system already in place makes this task easier.

SCISWeb and television programs

Now for the good news. It is worth checking SCISWeb to see whether the program has been catalogued. Some SCIS cataloguing agencies, including the Education Department of Western Australia, catalogue taped-off-air programs. For example, a large percentage of the titles listed in the ABC's Education TV Program Guide are available on SCISWeb.

Many broadcast programs also become available commercially. The record for the taped off-air program will be updated with any additional information on the commercial copy when possible, or you can easily amend the record to reflect your copy. You should note that it is illegal to copy a commercially produced video, even if your school has bought it. However, a television broadcast may be taped and copied even if the program is also available commercially.

Hints for searching SCISWeb OPAC

Unfortunately, since television programs don't have ISBNs you must find them on the SCIS OPAC before you can order the record. It can be quite difficult to find them, especially when the title in your local TV guide is different from that shown on the screen. As for all video recordings, cataloguing information is taken from the screen. Additional entries are made for other titles such as on the accompanying packages or notes if the cataloguer has access to them.

If the title is distinctive, a simple Title search will find the record on SCISWeb. However, titles of educational television programs are often short and general. For example, the program Signs in the Made by Design series (latest ABC broadcast, 8 Nov 1999) is on SCISWeb. A title search on Signs gives over 120 hits.

The solution? Use a Builder Search, by clicking on the Builder button.

Builder Search

A Builder Search enables you to search under more than one word or phrase anywhere in the record. Up to three different search terms can be combined to give a very specific search. You can specify the part of the record to be searched (eg. Title, Series, Author Name) or search for a term anywhere in the record (Keyword Anywhere).

Search by the title Signs AND the series Made by Design. The correct record appears. In detail:
Search for: Signs
Search in: Title (TKEY) AND
Search for: made by designs as a phrase
Search in: Series (SER)

Searching Tips

  • When searching under more than one word, remember to change the default from 'any of these' to 'as a phrase'.
  • If there is no series, or the series is non-distinctive, try adding video recording as a Keyword Anywhere.
  • If you are searching for a number of titles in a series, try a Builder Search under the series. All the titles catalogued should appear in alphabetical order, making your choice easy. This technique also helps identify programs with titles differing slightly from the title given in your local TV guide.
  • A Builder Search can also be useful when searching for other non-book materials, by combining the title with another term, such as publisher or date.

*Note: Screenrights Agreement
Since 1 July 1999, most schools have been able to tape television broadcasts and keep a copy for educational use, under Part VA of the Copyright Act 1968. This agreement is administered by Screenrights, formerly the Audio-Visual Copyright Society (AVCS). Participating educational institutions pay an amount per student to Screenrights who then distribute the payments to copyright owners of the broadcasts.

Any school which has an agreement with Screenrights, may tape television programs. The agreement covers all state schools throughout Australia and most non-government schools. If you are unsure whether your school is covered by an agreement, you should check with your principal. If still unsure you can contact Screenrights, tel: +61 9904 0133 or fact +61 9904 0498.

Leonie Samuelsson

Cataloguing Section

Education Department of Western Australia