Legality of Game Tournaments in Libraries

Many libraries have offered game tournaments for years. In the “June 2008 School Library Journal, a media specialist asks: “Since these games are intended for home use, isn’t that similar to purchasing a movie and showing it to a large audience?”

Carrie Russell, the ALA copyright specialist, suggests:

Librarians can: (1) continue to offer video-game competitions and let the chips fall where they may; (2) contact the rights holders and ask if their licenses can be modified to accommodate your programs; or (3) email the rights holders and tell them you’re opting out of the portion of the contract that allows only home use—and unless they tell you not to, you’re planning to offer gaming tournaments. Although the last option sounds incredibly brazen, copyright experts say it happens all the time in the business world. Of course, there’s always the possibility that your library may be held liable for misusing a video game (sorry), so each of us needs to determine how much risk we’re willing to take.

Which option does/will your library take? Do other options occur to you?