Videos in the classroom

Playing videos in the classroom is allowed under the Copyright Act if the video is a legally obtained copy. If the video is accessed through a subscription service, streamed from a file sharing site, or protected by digital locks (DRM) then there may be conditions that prevent classroom use.

Can I show a video in class? Can I bring a video from my collection, a rental from a video store, or a copy from the Library?

Yes, you no longer need public performance rights to show videos in the classroom. You can now bring a legally purchased or rented video from home and play it in class. The Library will still purchase movies for the collection that you can use in class as well.

Can I show a YouTube/Netflix/iTunes movie in class?

You may stream a YouTube video directly from the site. When embedding the video in a powerpoint presentation, include a citation. 

You may not stream Netflix or iTunes in the classroom. When you sign up for a Netflix or iTunes account, you agree to only use the material for private use. For this reason, you cannot use these services to stream a movie in class.

Can I post or stream a video made available through the Internet in CourseSpaces?

You may make the work available in CourseSpaces for educational purposes, preferably by posting a link to the video available through the Internet. However, there are specific conditions that need to be met before posting on CourseSpaces: 

  1. A citation to the work must be provided (author/performer, title, year, publisher/producer),
  2. The work on the Internet site is not protected by any technical protection measures that restrict access,
  3. There are no clearly visible notices prohibiting the use of the work, and
  4. The work has not been posted without the consent of the copyright holder/author.

Can I copy an audiovisual work (e.g., motion picture, television program, documentary, etc.) that has been published on DVD and post it in CourseSpaces?

Motion pictures and other audiovisual works that are published on DVDs are typically protected by a digital lock or a technical protection measure. You may, under the Fair Dealing Guidelines, use a video recording device (e.g., your smartphone, a digital camera), to record a short excerpt from a computer, television screen or projection and post it in CourseSpaces.

Creating videos
involves many layers of production (writing, music, performance) and can contain copyrighted content from multiple sources. It is important to get permission when using material created by others, and to acknowledge your sources.

Who should I credit when making my video?

It is important to acknowledge all of the contributors to the work (actors, script writers, photographers, directors, etc.). A list of credits should be included at the end of the production.

Can I use background music in a video I am producing?

In general, videos you produce and post/stream on the Internet (e.g., YouTube), should not include music produced by others, without their permission. To request permission, you need to contact the music publisher and/or the artist. You can also contact SOCAN for assistance.

There are sites that provide royalty free music, and some artists allow for licensing of music for YouTube videos. It is important to read the terms of use information before using the resource.
Here is a sampling of helpful resources:

Video production at UVic - provides tips to help make your video projects easier and more creative

YouTube's Video Editor

Creative Commons' Legal Music for Videos


Free Music Archive

AlumoMusic - Instrumental background


VIMEO's Music Store

For video and movie use outside of the classroom, please see our movies at campus events page.

Please contact the  if you require assistance.

Should you have any questions please contact the Copyright Office.

The Copyright Office makes every effort to provide accurate information but does not offer it as counsel or legal advice.