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Copyright & Fair Use for Education

A guide for faculty introducing copyright and fair use.

Showing Movies/Videos in Class

To best position yourself to assert a fair use argument when using video, consider doing the following:

  • Link to the video if possible rather than making an electronic copy available to students. Linking to materials is ordinarily not a violation of copyright but rather a technological instruction for locating materials.
  • If copying a video, do not use any more of the video than the amount needed to serve your purpose.
  • Avoid copying videos from materials created and marketed primarily for use in courses such as the one at hand (e.g. from a textbook, workbook, or other instructional materials designed for the course). Use of more than a brief excerpt from such works on digital networks is unlikely to be transformative and therefore unlikely to be a fair use.
  • Make sure that the video content serves a pedagogical purpose; do not use as entertainment.
  • Place the video in the context of the course, explaining why it was chosen and what it was intended to illustrate. Recontextualize the video when appropriate through the addition of background readings, study questions, commentary, criticism, annotation, and student reactions.
  • Limit access to the video to students enrolled in the course.
  • Use streaming or other technologies that limit students' ability to download, copy, or redistribute the material.
  • Notify students that videos are being made available for teaching, study, and research only.
  • Provide attributions to known copyright owners of the videos.

Avoiding Copyright Issues in Online Education

  1. Provide your students a link to the resource rather than embedding it into Laulima or your course website. It may seem counterintuitive but this is one way to avoid potential copyright infringement.

  3. Flip the classroom - Ask students to review the video or resource outside of class.

  5. Find resources in a library database and provide a link to the resource

  7. The following activities do not usually tend to favor the Fair Use exception or permissible acts
    • Recording the video and making it available for the duration of the class (Try and link to the movie).
    • Playing a film/video through an online streaming service over Zoom, etc. for the entire class (This is a violation of the streaming service Terms of Service as well as a violation of the copyright
    • Showing the entire film / movie (try and use just important segments or parts) .

Streaming Video available through UHMC Library

Resources for Free and Legal Streaming Video