We created a virtual storytime for teachers, kids, and parents at home due to COVID-19. We call it Dads Read Books.

Storytime is a key element of school classrooms and libraries. It exposes children to the joy of books and contributes to early literacy. Enjoying books can lead to later success in school.

We’ve been asking ourselves if storytime is an infringement of copyright law when the reading is recorded and shared online. I mean, we volunteer to read in schools all the time, surely doing so digitally isn’t much different. You would think storytime is notĀ illegal when it is digital, but it might be.

Essentially, it all comes down to the legal factors used to determine fair use. There are publishers that don’t want to risk the abuse of their copyrighted materials, so many of them have modified their policies to allow teachers to record their read aloud sessions.

Here is what we think. As video producers, we understand the value of protecting what others create. However, these are very trying times for our communities and families, and we do not think we are hurting the publisher’s or author’s market potential. In addition, we are are not profiting off these videos, making the character and purpose of their use similar to that of a school librarian.

Ultimately, we hope our teachers have one less thing to worry about. Also, by sharing our favorites, others can see the joy books can bring in their homes. As a result, with each video we post, we will place a link to where parents can buy the book. All storytime videos from Dads Read Books will be taken down by June 30, 2020.

Enjoy them here.