Whenever you're tempted to use a particular video, ask yourself:
How important is this video for fulfilling the mission of your lesson?
- If you believe the video is a vital part of the lesson, make your best effort to contact the copyright holder for permission.
- If you think you have a strong case for using a video under the Fair Use exceptions or the TEACH Act, reflect on the risk-reward ratio in applying these remedies.
Remember, you want to use copyrighted material in such a way as to not end up in a lawsuit. Sure, you may prevail in court, but at what cost? You may win your case, but be seriously financially damaged, so think carefully before using copyrighted material without permission.
The best policy is: "When in doubt, link out!"
Frequently Asked Questions about Video
Is there a difference between linking to an online video versus embedding it in my online course?When you choose to
- When you choose to embed a video from a video site like YouTube, for example, you're only embedding the URL of the video, and aren't copying the actual video into your course. This is considered safe, though the best practices suggest linking to an online video.I want to display a YouTube video or a video on another site. What are the best practices when doing so? The safest practice is to link to the
I want to display a YouTube video or a video on another site. What are the best practices when doing so?The safest practice is to link to the
- The safest practice is to link to the home page for YouTube and have the student search for the video.I'd like to show a scene from a Hollywood movie to my classes. One is online and one is face-to-face. Is there a difference on what I can show? First determine whether the publisher of the movie has a readily available licensing mechanism to show the movie
I'd like to show a scene from a Hollywood movie to my classes. One is online and one is face-to-face. Is there a difference on what I can show?
- First determine whether the publisher of the movie has a readily available licensing mechanism to show the movie clip, if so use that license. If not, look to section 110(1) and/or Fair Use to show the scene in a face-to-face class. Look to the TEACH Act and/or Fair Use to show the scene in an online class.
I've tried to get permission for an older video, but can't locate the publisher or owner of the copyright. Is there any way I can still use portions of the video?
- Yes, if you have completed due diligence in searching for the publisher by looking on these sites: Copyright Clearance Center; the Watch database; the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; and PLUS, and have not located the publisher, you may use Fair Use to determine whether you may show a portion of the video. If you are teaching a face-to-face class, then also consider applying section 110(1) to show this video.
May I stream Netflix in my online course?
- No, the Netflix license specifically states their content is for individual use.
I recorded a video of a TV interview last week and want to post a short segment of it in my online course. What are my options?
- Determine whether Fair Use permits you to show this interview, or you could see if the TV broadcast offers a license to show the video.I need to copy a VHS recording to DVD because we don't have
I need to copy a VHS recording to DVD because we don't have the equipment to play the VHS.
- The UNT media library makes its own determination of such copying based on current law and UNT library policy, and it will only make transition copies of items the library owns. Please contact the UNT Media library for further guidance.
How do I protect the video or lectures that I create myself?
- Such material is automatically copyrighted when you produce it. There is no registration requirement, however one may register such works with the United States Copyright Office, if desired. If you want to place this material in the public, consider licensing it with a Creative Commons license that conveys the specific uses available to subsequent users.