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Category: Teaching with Technology

During a recent Magna Online Seminar, Linda Enghagen, an attorney and professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, responded to two commonly asked questions about use of copyrighted videos in online courses. Is it ever permissible to stream a video in a distance education course that is not owned by the institution? “Based on the current state of the law, the answer is no with one possible exception. The possible exception is when the institution does not own the video but has permission from the copyright holder to stream the video. Because it is lawful to show a video not owned by the institution in a face-to-face course, many people find this frustrating or counterintuitive. Nevertheless, it is one of those rules that is in the law.” Can I embed YouTube videos in an online course? “Assuming the videos were lawfully posted by the copyright holder or someone else authorized by the copyright owner, it is usually OK. However, you have to make a judgment about that, and if it doesn't pass the smell test, don't link to it and don't send your students to it. You run the risk of having committed a type of copyright infringement called contributory copyright infringement. Essentially that refers to situations in which you do not commit the direct infringement but take advantage of it when someone else did—and you knew or should have realized that.”