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Copyright: Videos

Notice - Information on Copyright Does Not Constitute Legal Advice

Note that the author of this guide is not an attorney and is providing information on copyright only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. For legal advice, please see an attorney.

Copyright and Videos

Films are one of the more difficult mediums to use. Most videos and DVDs are available for "home use" only meaning that only a small group of family and friends can watch the video or DVD together. Getting films and TV episodes online is popular but often illegal. Downloading films and TV episodes from sites that are not licensed to offer films can often lead to downloading viruses and other malicious software with the films. Be very careful if you download films or TV shows and consider subscribing to Netfilx, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or one of the many other subscriptions services.

Video in Face-to-Face Instruction

If you want to use a film or part of a film in face-to-face instruction, make sure the film helps you meet one of the educational objectives of your class. If it does meet one of the objectives, you can show part of or the whole film. If you want to show a series of clips from a film, this gets a bit more complicated. From a DVD, you can use the index to go to the scenes you want (or at least get fairly near them) but you usually could not copy the clips you want to show. This is because most DVDs are technologically protected from copying and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act prohibits anyone from tamporing with or bypassing such protections (even if doing so is very easy and deoesn't really seem like breaking the law).

CC Search (Creative Commons Search)

Use this form to search for videos that are licensed for reuse with creative commons licenses. Please be aware that not everything this search comes up with will have a creative commons license so please check for the license graphic or text before you use a video. There are a number of search engines you can use with this form - the "Search using" box allows you to choose what search engine you will use.

Enter your search query:

use for commercial purposes;
modify, adapt, or build upon.


Search using:

Books on Copyright and Videos

Creative Commons Licenses

Attribution Only License This image indicates that the work must be attributed to the creator.

Attribute, no derivitives This image indicates that the work must be attributed to the creator and no derivitive works can be made from it.

Attribution, Non-commercial use, share alike This image indicates that the work must be attributed to the creator, the work cannot be used commercially and any derivitives created must be shared with the same license.

Attribution, Share alike This image indicates that the work must be attributed to the creator and, if you make changes, you must share it with the same license.

Attribution, Non-commercial This image indicates that the work must be attributed to the creator and it cannot be used commercially.

Attribution, non-commercial, no derivitives This image indicates taht the work must be attributed to the creator, it cannot be used commerically, and no derivitive works can be made from it.

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