What videos to use in class without violating copyright?

digital projector in class

Teachers can instill respect for intellectual property rights in class by using open quality online resources that are sometimes undervalued.

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It is more powerful to invite a teenager to reflect on pregnancy prevention with the Juno movie than with a brochure. It is better to represent perseverance with scenes from the Rocky film than with a 10-minute lecture. Video in class is a tool that strengthens the knowledge transmission process. However, can we show these resources in the classroom without legal restrictions?

Different copyright laws established by each country protect most films. So, is it legal to stream a Disney movie on Netflix in class? The answer is no. Can you watch a film on DVD format in a face-to-face class in the US? The answer is yes, but only in public institutions and with a lawfully made copy.

If you work in a private institution, do not get discouraged. There are an plenty of quality open access video resources to use:

  • TED talks. There is a vast amount of educational conferences, on diverse subjects and they can be exhibited in any room of class or forum.

  • Youtube. Its regulations allow you to show the videos of their entire catalog; however, downloads are not authorized.

  • Documentaries produced by Netflix. Although you cannot stream movies from their catalog, you can share Netflix Original Docs in class.

  • Teachers who create their own content can use free repositories such as Pexels, Pixabay, Mazwai or Coverr.

Teachers can instill respect for intellectual property rights in class. On the other hand, it is critical to begin using open quality online resources that are sometimes little valued.

Here is an informative overview of U.S. copyright law and its impact on colleges and universities.

If you have any free access video source that you want to share with the Observatory readers, do it in the comments box below.