Copyright: Film, Videos, and YouTube

A Libguide to inform faculty about copyright

Film and Video Guidelines

Most films and videos are copyrighted, and use of them is subject to copyright restrictions. Showing a film or video in the classroom is permitted if the following conditions are met:

   1. The film must be part of the instructional course.

   2.  The film must be shown by students or instructors, and can only be shown to students and instructors.

   3. The film must be shown either in a classroom or other school location.

   4. The film shown must be a legitimate copy, with the copyright notice included.

    However, showing a film in a place open to the public and which anyone can attend constitutes a "Public Performance" and requires explicit permission from the copyright owner for "public performance" rights. 


Instructors and students can also use portions of copyrighted materials in multimedia presentations (i.e. PowerPoint) by observing these guidelines:

   1.  Cite the work and put the copyright symbol.

   2.  Use only 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, of the video in your presentation.

   3.  Do not use work that was ( originally) uploaded illegally.

   4.  Use only for educational purposes and do not repost on public sites.


Streaming Video

The Teach Act allows video to be transmitted digitally in distance education and online course situations. However, streaming videos must be shown in classroom situations analogous to face-to-face teaching.  The following guidelines will apply:

1)  The work must be lawfully made or acquired.

2)  Access to the work must be limited to students formally enrolled in the course.

3)  Instructors must make students aware of the copyright protection and warn students against copying.

4)  Instructors should deactivate student access to the work at the end of the lesson/lecture, or the end of semester.

5)  For dramatic works (feature films), only a reasonable portion (up to 20%)  of the work should be used.  Streaming a full-length film would not be considered "fair use".

6)  For non-dramatic musical (singing songs) works and non-dramatic literary (readings) works, the entire work may be used.





YouTube and Copyright

Linking to an online video (including YouTube) in your online course is usually not a copyright violation.  Since no copy of the video is stored on your server, an embedded YouTube video is just a link.