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Online Video: Copyright/Legal Concerns

Finding and using online videos

UI Copyright Resources

Can I show these in ICON?

Streaming video is an evolving area of copyright law and governed by case law, the Copyright Act of 1976 and its updates and the TEACH Act. For guidance on copyright at the University of Iowa, please see the resources in the box to the left. The best practices listed below are not intended as legal guidance but as shorthand for decision making.

Use the Copyright Advisory Network's Exemptions for Instructors tool to for help making decisions about your use of online video -

Video and audio already available online

  • A video's availability for free online does not necessarily imply that the video is online legally.
  • Try the online video subscription services listed in this guide first. Then try free sources.
  • It is generally better to link to a video hosted elsewhere rather than host it yourself. It if more legally defensible to drive traffic to the copyright owner's site than to copy and host thier work yourself.
  • In general, it is better to link to content from within a password protected ICON site.

Streaming video from VHS and DVD

  • Just because we show a DVD in class does not imply that we can copy it and show it online.
  • While the TEACH Act may allow an instructor to stream a film in an online classroom, the act does not make it legal to break anti-copy technology to rip the content of the film from its DVD so it can be streamed.
  • Contact your department's liaison librarian for help getting the rights to stream a film.

Dan the Librarian

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Dan Gall
Subjects: Social Work