Films and videos

Many sources of films and videos can be used in open online courses. Videos from YouTube can be embedded if they are embeddable. Videos can be downloaded from online platforms and shared with course participants if they are open access or if unrestricted permission has been received. Videos can also be created by the instructor or by UNSW.

Videos are important course materials in open online courses. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions in Australian copyright law that grant any sort of blanket permission for course materials in open online courses. There are some exceptions that may apply to rare, specific, individual incidents; however, generally speaking, course materials in open online courses must be approached as if there are no statutory permissions available.

Videos that can be embedded

Many online video platforms allow users to embed the video content on other outside pages. For example, many YouTube videos have embed codes, allowing them to be embedded on webpages or in learning management systems.

If a video in YouTube has an embed code, then it can be embedded in an open online course. The standard YouTube licence allows users to embed content for certain non-commercial uses, including use as course materials in online courses.

Other online video platforms also allow videos to be embedded, but not all standard licences are the same. Read the terms or ask for guidance if you are unsure about using videos from different platforms.

Videos from any platform should only be used if you are reasonably certain that they have been uploaded by the content creators or that they are not in breach of copyright law. It is impossible to be certain in every case that a video on an online platform is a legal copy, but care should be taken to ensure that the content being promoted to course participants is reputable and legal.

Videos that can be downloaded and shared

Some online platforms allow users to download video content. Content from these platforms should only be used in open online courses if the content has a suitable open access licence attached or if unrestricted permissions has been received from the copyright owner.

Open access materials can be used for most purposes without asking the rights holders for permission, as long as certain obligations are met. Proper use of open access materials depends on the specific open access licence attached, as different licences have slightly different conditions. However, most open access materials can be used for educational purposes, and obligations might include, for example, citing the material properly or linking the content back to the source. For an overview of open access, check out What is open access?

For more information about open access resources suitable for your teaching, see Open online course resources guide. For further assistance contact your Outreach Librarian.

Videos can also be downloaded and shared with participants if unrestricted permission has been received from the copyright owner. Permissions for use of materials in open online courses should ideally be unrestricted in terms of duration, location, purpose and adaptability. For example, an acceptable permission might allow a course reading to be used for any UNSW course on any platform at any time, as well as allow the course reading to be adapted to meet accessibility requirements.

Videos created at UNSW

Videos created at UNSW can be freely shared with participants in open online courses. However, when creating videos for open online courses, there are some copyright issues that should be considered. Videos are themselves a reproduction of the content in them, so if there are images, music, or other videos that appear in your videos, permissions will need to be sought.

Specific information about course materials for open online courses:

See also:

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