Using Online Video? Check Out This Guide to Fair Use

It’s become easier than ever for faculty to use and show online video in their courses with learning management systems like Blackboard. In TLP we can assist faculty in creating their own online video as well as editing existing video to create new illustrative materials for students to watch online. However, the questions of “what am I allowed to do?” or “what’s the best way to use this YouTube video?” are never far from our thoughts, and it’s hard to sort through the legal, technical and social issues to determine good teaching practice in each case.  

To that end, the Center for Social Media at the American University School of Communication has released the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video in both web and PDF format. Authored by a team of legal and media scholars from across the country, this excellent resource can help creators and users of copyrighted online media better understand what are good practices for using this media in the context of education, discussion, illustration, critique, research, commentary, memorialization, and much more. The guide also also dispels a fair number of Fair Use myths, such as “If I’m making any money off it, it’s not fair use.”

Get the guide here.  

The Center for Social Media also has a guide to Public Domain works called “Yes, You Can!” which is worth checking out, as are their News and Blogs RSS feeds. 

The Kansas City TV Barn blog is featuring an interview with one of the authors of the Code of Best Practices and also offers a 13-minute podcast about Fair Use in “mashups” – that is, a juxtaposition of two or more media materials to create something new (music, video, web application, or whatever). 

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