Information Services

Video, Broadcasts, and Sound

Video, sound, music and broadcasts are all subject to strict copyright conditions, so you need to take care when using them in your teaching materials.

Our ERA Licence Plus allows teaching staff to use recorded broadcast media in an authenticated teaching and learning environment, including providing remote access to students and staff online (e.g. via Learn or an authenticated Moodle course).

Please note: It is required as part of the licence agreement to ensure that all ERA Recordings made or acquired under an ERA Licence include sufficient acknowledgement of the service from which they were sourced:

(i) with each physical ERA Recording being marked with an ERA Notice and the name of the source, the date upon which the recording was secured by or for an Educational Establishment and the title of the programme or clip; and

(ii) within all ERA Recordings held in digital formats an opening credit or webpage which must also be viewed or listened to before access to the ERA Recording is permitted including an ERA Notice, the name of the service from which the original ERA Recording was sourced; and the name of the programme or clip.

Other sources of broadcast material include the Box of Broadcasts service (BoB) which provides access to UK public broadcast channels. Films, videos, and radio broadcasts archived on BoB can be embedded directly into Learn and Moodle.

Always check the terms and conditions of the media before use.

YouTube is a valuable and popular source of videos but you should use it with care: many videos are uploaded illegally without the copyright holder’s permission. Best practice is to only use videos from official channels such as the BBC or Channel 4 using the YouTube player embed code provided.

Commercial music is an area where copyright is upheld very strictly, and you should avoid using it unless it’s absolutely essential and ensure you comply with copyright law. You may be able to play music in a standalone lecture for educational/instructional purposes, but you would need to gain permission from the rights holders if you wanted to add it to Learn. Getting permission to use commercial music may prove expensive.

The University Library subscribes to a number of services and databases that provide access to music, film, and audio recording that can be presented to students both in face-to-face teaching and online teaching environments. E.g. Medici.TV (concerts, operas, ballets, documentaries & more), or look through this list of useful film and media subscriptions ‘Film Studies databases’.

Can I play a DVD for my class?

Yes, provided the purpose is illustration for instruction and the use is fair, i.e. you are not showing this to a public audience and the use is clearly relevant to educational instruction. You can only show this to students in your face-to-face teaching spaces.

DVDs for the purpose of teaching can be requested and purchased through Library services and made available for staff and students at the University.

Can I share a clip from a DVD onto Learn, Moodle, or an authenticated online teaching environment for students?

Yes, provided the purpose is to illustrate a point, or for criticism and review. The copying must also be fair, so the clip should be no more than is required for the purpose intended, and be sufficiently acknowledged (see our information on fair dealing for more details). In this case, who has access to the online teaching space is a factor to be considered when assessing whether the use is fair. Restricting access to the learners who are enrolled on the particular course will support the contention that the use is fair.

Can I use YouTube clips in my lectures?

Always be cautious when using YouTube, many videos will have been uploaded to the site illegally and without the permission of the rights holder. You can use YouTube video from official channels, such as the BBC, as by uploading content they have given you a licence to use it for non-commercial purposes.

Always use the embedding code for the YouTube player when uploading the video and check YouTube's Terms of Service.

Can I upload media to Learn/Moodle that I've paid to download from iTunes or similar?

No, unless you have specific permission from the copyright holder to do so. A personal use licence purchase doesn't include the right to share. This type of permission will usually be costly and extremely difficult to obtain.

Can I use commercial music in my teaching materials?

You may be able to use short extracts of music in teaching if it is for the purposes of illustration for instruction or criticism and review. The amount copied must be considered fair and have no impact commercially on the copyright holder. Otherwise, be very wary of using commercial music in teaching materials, especially if published on Learn, Moodle, or the web. You would almost certainly need permission from three parties: the composer, the music publisher and the record company. This means that obtaining the necessary permissions can be a bureaucratic and expensive process.


Further Resources

Edinburgh ERA Licence

E-reserve Service

OER Service

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. For further information please contact: 

Open Education Resources Service

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Scholarly Communications Team

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  • You can book a one-to one video consultation with an expert from our team. If you want to find out more about open access (journals, funding, policies etc ), Copyright & Intellectual Property, General publishing activities (request an ISBN or DOI), or research metrics (using Web Of Science or Scopus) please contact our team via email to book a session at a time that suits you.

Information on this page has been adapted from Copyright Guidance at The University of Manchester, CC BY-NC