Using images and videos within copyright rules

A Book looking at copyright, Creative Commons and other legal ways of managing and working with images. Look for the table of contents on the top right.

5. Using content from YouTube (and Vimeo)

Let me start with a clear statement - I am not an expert on copyright, but I do like U2 and want to share some with you.

So how can I be confident that I am not breaking copyright by including this clip here. Not only is it U2's music, but as can be seen from the logo in the top left hand corner, it is from a BBC programme. Surely this is copyrighted material that I should not post.

The reason I can embed this video here is that I am confident that the BBC will have sorted out any copyright issues before posting this on YouTube and I know that this is from an officially verified BBC channel on YouTube. I also know that the BBC will have agreed to the standard YouTube terms and conditions that include the right of users such as us to embed the video on our page, so long as we are not making money out of it.

Does that mean that I can embed anything from YouTube onto my page?

No, you have to be confident that whoever put it onto YouTube owns the copyright.

How can I check that, I am not a copyright expert?

The thing to look for is an official YouTube Channel that has been verified. On its YouTube channel, the BBC has a tick beside it that when you move your mouse over it says "verified". If it says "verified" then that means that they are who they say they are and you can trust them to only post stuff that they own the copyright to.

BBC YouTube page

If you search YouTube for "Dr Who" you will see that almost all the first pages found are from the verified Dr Who official page, one of the numerous BBC sub channels. However, if you search "Dr Who Full Episode" you will find numerous full Dr episodes, but not one of them will have an official "verified" tick by the person who uploaded them. YOU CANNOT USE THESE CLIPS because you can be fairly certain that the person posting them does not own the copyright.

Does that mean you cannot use clips from a non-verified person on Moodle?

If only it were that simple. You can use them if you are confident that they own the copyright. If it is a TV or film clip then almost certainly not. If it contains a music background then again probably not. However if you think that the person who posted it was the person who created the clip, or represents the group that created the clip then you can probably use it. A lot of material you will want to use will have been posted by an official university. Oddly, even if they put somewhere in the video that "this cannot be used without permission", if they have posted it on YouTube then they have given their permission.

What about Vimeo? is another site that hosts lots of video, but this tends to be video that people have created. Posting to Vimeo allows you to set where the videos can be embedded or played, so if a Vimeo video will embed in Moodle you are allowed to use it.