In a face-to-face classroom setting, instructors have an unlimited right to display legally obtained video materials that are relevant to the course. However, the use of copyrighted video materials are more limited in an online course or hybrid course, when the class does not necessarily have a face-to-face setting consistently. Using a film or documentary in an online or hybrid course typically involves steps that are restricted by copyright laws—including digitizing material (which often involves circumventing copyright protections) and streaming material from a server. Nevertheless, there are options that include ways to enrich your course with video materials while still abiding by copyright law. Ultimately, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to secure permissions to use video materials in courses and to adhere to copyright laws. Here is a list of options for you to consider when adding video content to your course:

  1. If you do not already have video content selected, consider using materials that are already freely available or by the University through the library. The staff in the library are happy to work with you on finding both physical and digital copies of videos.
  2. Public educational resources and resources with educational content:
  3. Find an online streaming source where students can buy or rent the film and pay for it themselves (just as they would a textbook or other course material). Possible options include Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Google PlayNetflix, and Hulu. These services have a limited catalog, so make sure that the film is available before referring students. If you plan on using this option, be sure to include the costs that the students will need to pay in the course catalog and the course syllabus. You can use an index such as Can I Stream It to locate streaming sources. In addition, we in DTLT have compiled a list of specific online streaming services that you can explore when trying to find video materials legally online.
  4. Consider how much of the video material you would like to use in your course. Short clips to show, or to use for student projects tend to fall under Fair Use. If you would like to isolate specific clips and host them on your Domain of One’s Own account, or upload them to your Canvas course, contact DTLT and we are happy to show you how to do that.