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This LibGuide provides basic information about U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17) and discusses exemptions to exclusive rights.

YouTube and Quality Matters: Citations and Permissions

Is it legal to share a YouTube video with my students?

It is completely legal to use YouTube videos in your course (either shared by link or embedded) because the licensing that YouTube offers makes this possible.  YouTube videos carry either the YouTube Standard License, or a Creative Commons BY CC-BY License.  In order to use content from YouTube legally (films with either the YouTube Standard License or the CC-BY License), the licenses require users to give attribution to the creator of the work/copyright owner.  The primary difference between the YouTube Standard License and the Creative Commons License is that you could actually modify or adapt a YouTube video with a Creative Commons License.  YouTube videos are fine to use and share either by linking or embedding, but when using YouTube it's a good idea to make sure that the content itself is not infringing. 

QM "Permissions" for YouTube Videos

For QM purposes, the “Permission” for a YouTube video would be either YouTube Standard License or CC-BY License, depending on which license the video carries.  You can use the Creative Commons filtering tool to help identify which license applies to the video that you wish to share.

Search for the video on YouTube, click filter, and then click Creative Commons  

The Creative Commons filtering tool within the YouTube interface will eliminate all videos that carry a YouTube Standard License from the results list.  If the video remains in the results list, then it has a Creative Common Attribution (CC-BY) License.  If you no longer see the video in the results list, then it must carry a YouTube Standard License.  

The Creative Commons filtering tool will eliminate all videos with a YouTube standard license from the search results.


Creating a Citation for a YouTube Video 

The information that you will need in order to construct your citation is available within the YouTube interface as seen below.

The information you need in order to create a citation for a YouTube video is available within the YouTube interface.

EXAMPLE:  Citation and Permissions for patrickJMT YouTube content (shown in the screenshot above)

Rational Expressions: Adding and Subtracting. Ex 1.YouTube, uploaded by patrickJMT, 4 May 2010

Permissions:  YouTube Terms of Service

For additional information about YouTube Standard License and the YouTube CC-BY license, please refer to page 22 in this SoftChalk Lesson.