I just had a professor come to me because they couldn’t get DVD Decrypter working without admin rights (queue the little red alert lights in my head). I decided to see if I could find an actual reference to the DMCA law and reference to use in higher education. As it turns out it seems that circumventing A/V copy protection is allowed in very specific circumstances. According to copyright.gov an exemption was made in 2006. From what I can tell if the media is owned by a college or university library or media studies department, professors can use small clips for course material or research.

Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors.

http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2006/index.html

I should make a disclaimer that I am far from a legal expert. If anyone interperets this law differently please leave a comment.