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Q. Can I use content from free online video sharing services in my teaching?

Answered By: Hilda McNae
Last Updated: Jan 03, 2024     Views: 12

It is important to ensure that films you screen or direct students to are not from unlawful sources. 

Where content you wish to use is available on a free video sharing service such as YouTube or Tik Tok then take into consideration that anyone can upload content regardless of whether they have permission to do so. You should therefore ensure you should use official content that has been uploaded by or with the authorisation of the copyright holder.   

  • Check who has uploaded the content, is it from a recognisable source, for example, is it on the channel of a known broadcaster or organisation?
  • If you are unsure then link to the content rather than embedding or downloading it.
  • Make sure that in your teaching materials the video is fully attributed rather than only including a link.
  • Only use the content if it is for the purpose of instruction and supports an educational point you are making
  • Check to see if there is a Creative Commons licence attached. If so then this will provide information on how you can reuse the content.
  • If it is obviously pirated then do not use the content and find an alternative. Contact us for advise on video sources which can be used in teaching.


 We recommend that assessments are not based on content which is freely available on online video sharing services as there is no guarantee that these are permanent. If rightsholders raise an objection content can be removed from the site at any time and it may not be there when your students need to use it.

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