Answered By: Jennifer Luzadder
Last Updated: Feb 04, 2015     Views: 9

According to YouTube's Terms of Use, content housed with their service can be used and distributed through the functionality that they provide - meaning, you MUST use YouTube's link and/or embed code.  Using YouTube's embed code generates their branded embeddable player whenever the video is viewed from outside of YouTube. So, you CAN use YouTube videos in courses!

Here are the restrictions to keep in mind:

  • Never modify a video. This means you cannot trim it, add annotations, remove ads, or remove any links back to the site. This is under their standard license - if you locate a video under a Creative Commons license, you can remix the video using the tools YouTube provides.
  • Steer clear of copyright-infringed videos (i.e., if it's a movie clip or a clip from a TV show, it is probably not shared with the original content owner's permission. YouTube monitors and removes instances they catch and punishes the account holder who uploaded it illegally).
  • There are times when a video owner uploads a video and disables the embed code; this means they've chosen to not allow it to be embeddable.  If you do not see embed code, you don't have permission to embed it.

Outside of copyright law, it is recommended that permission is requested simply to let the owner know that the content will be used in a course.  This may prevent that video from being removed (and subsequently breaking the link in your course).  Something to consider!

Read more about YouTube in courses.

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