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Streaming Video Resources: Copyright & Video

Information on finding and using streaming video

Copyright & Video

Videos available under a creative commons license are free to use, with varying restrictions. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable owners to modify copyright terms to best suit their needs.

For example, YouTube offers options to filter your searches to Creative Commons Licenses, as well as locate videos that provide closed captions.

                YouTube filter options

Attribution Tools:

Open Attribution Generator

Attribution Browser Plugin

CC Attribution CC NonDerivative CC NonCommercial CC ShareAlike

Image by Creative Commons - Creative Commons, Public Domain,

Fair Use Overview

To “use” a copyrighted work, you must either have the copyright holder’s permission, or you must qualify for a legal exception such as “fair use.” Fair Use is the legal, unauthorized use of copyrighted material, allowable under certain circumstances. Many educational and classroom use falls under fair use, but there are many images use cases that can be fair.

Fair use (Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright code) provides parameters for the legal use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder.

Four factors for determining fair use eligibility:

  • Purpose and character of use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work. 
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the work as a whole.
  • The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. 

Linking to any publicly available online content (YouTube, newspapers, blogs, etc.) is almost always acceptable. Just make sure you are linking to an authoritative site or content creator!

Copyright Help

For new requests or general copyright questions, please complete a Copyright Request Help Form. If you are already working with a copyright expert, they may be reached via email:

Jeff Grossman
Head of Collection Services

Megan Kickbush
Head of Access Services