Copyright and Videos in the Virtual Classroom

The following frequently asked questions are about sharing audio/visual materials with students online. The library provides the campus with access to a variety of streaming platforms for audio/visual content that you can share with your students.

We recommend searching Omni to see if the title is in our catalogue or reviewing our streaming platforms.

You can also contact your librarian to see if we can obtain a video for use in your class.

Can I link to or play videos in class from sources like YouTube?

Linking to publicly available online content like news websites, existing online videos, etc. is rarely a copyright issue so long as you avoid content that looks obviously infringing itself. For example, a user posted YouTube video of the entire "Avengers: Endgame" movie. Linking to most Youtube videos, especially ones that allow sharing and embedding, should be fine.

Linking to subscription content through the Leddy Library is also a great option. Much of the library’s licensed content will have DOIs, PURLs, or other "permalink" or “persistent link” options, all of which should work even for off-campus users.

You can show the following works in class, as long as it's for educational or training purposes, not for profit, and shown before an audience consisting primarily of students:

  • a movie or other cinematographic work, provided that the work is not an infringing copy (i.e. legally obtained or purchased) and you do not circumvent a Digital Lock to access the work (see FAQ 3.3). 
  • a video or other subject matter that is available through the Internet, e.g. available on YouTube, as long as you satisfy the following criteria:
    • you don't break or circumvent a Digital Lock to access or obtain a copy of the work;
    • there is no clear and visible notice on the website or on the work itself that prohibits the use or reproduction of the work (more than just a copyright symbol);
    • the website is not questionable, infringing, or clearly using the work without the copyright owner's consent; and
    • you identify the source of the work,
  • a copy of a news program or news commentary program (excluding documentaries) made by you or UofW.
Can I provide public viewing of videos from Netflix or other commercial streaming services in my class?

No, unless the video has an explicit grant of permission for educational screenings. Netflix and other streaming platforms are commercial services provided to individual end-users – not the University. In other words, UWindsor does not have an institutional Netflix account. Therefore, your use of Netflix must comply with the Terms of Use you agreed to when you signed up for the service. The rights you may otherwise have had, for example the Fair Dealing Policy, do not apply if they are inconsistent with the Netflix Terms of Use.

Other options include:

I gave a PowerPoint presentation in class which includes materials from a textbook (including multiple graphs and images). Can I post a video or audio recording of the class lecture (such as a recorded voice-over Powerpoint of the lesson) on Blackboard Learn? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.

The Copyright Act allows educational institutions to communicate lessons (which includes parts of lessons, tests or examinations) on-line, to students enrolled in a specific course, for education or training purposes, and record such lessons, as long as the inclusion of any third party copyrighted materials in such lessons is allowed under another exception under the Copyright Act, e.g. fair dealing or other educational exceptions (the “Lessons Exception”). The student can also make a copy of such telecommunicated lesson to be viewed or listened to at a later time, as long as:

  • the student and the institution must destroy the recording, fixation or copy within 30 days after receipt by students of their final course evaluations;
  • the institution must take reasonable measures to limit the audience to students only (e.g. secure password-protected access only), and to prevent the students from fixing, reproducing or communicating such lessons except as permitted under this exception.
  • The recordings cannot be sold, rented or distributed widely (beyond the audience of students enrolled in the class) or to the public, in any way that prejudices the copyright owner.
  • This exception would allow you to post a video or audio recording of your class lecture, including a recorded voice-over Powerpoint of the lesson, on Blackboard Learn  as long as you comply with the destruction and other requirements described above, and the “best practices” under FAQ 3.6.

However, for materials from Leddy Library's licensed electronic resources, the terms of the digital licence will determine how such excerpts can be used – see Leddy Library License Information.

Can I Make a digital Copy of a Physical Video (DVD, VHS) to share with my class?

Unfortunately, No. The copyright act contains provisions for libraries to create preservation copies of works under specific conditions. However, unless the work is provided under an open license such as a creative commons license then you cannot copy and share a full video with your class. Please contact the library ( for help with checking for an alternative source.

Leddy Library is now offering a service to convert content on DVD to streaming video for use in the classroom (in-person and online). This service is limited to course-required content for students to be viewed outside the classroom. The DVD must either be part of the the Library’s collection, or be owned by the instructor. We are not able to use Blu-Ray or VHS.

Canadian copyright law requires that Leddy Library undertake a diligent search for a commercial copy of the content in a format that is suitable for the use purpose. This would include commercial subscription products (Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.) and students will be required to purchase a subscription where necessary.

If a suitable product cannot be found, Leddy Library will undertake a conversion process to produce a stream and make it available via YUJA for use. The streaming version will be available for the duration of the course and will then be disabled. Students will not be able to download the file.

If you wish to use the film again, you will need to request the film again.

For more information, please contact: E-mail


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