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Video in the (Virtual) Classroom

Options for providing video in face to face or online instruction.

Advice for Instructors on Using Video in Courses

U.S. copyright law does not require permission to show a movie in “a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction” during face-to-face teaching at a nonprofit educational institution, so long as the copy used was lawfully made. Using video in an online setting is more restricted due to concern to prevent copying and distribution that could harm the original creator. While linking to (non-infringing) video on an existing site is fine, “ripping” a DVD, making a copy, and posting the video online could constitute several counts of copyright infringement.

Here are options to achieve your educational objective within the law:

  1. Use online video that is licensed or provided by the University Libraries.

  2. Request licensing through the University Libraries.

  3. Use video that is in the public domain.

  4. Direct students to individual streaming options.

  5. Use portions of films in keeping with the TEACH Act.

  6. Show a DVD via screen sharing through Zoom. However, be prepared for diminished quality and buffering.

  7. Request a streaming copy of a DVD. The University Libraries will stream a copy of a lawfully acquired DVD only if other options have been exhausted and the instructor has received permission to do so from the copyright holder.