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BSCI, CRJ, & WGST Faculty: Library Services and Research Help

for Behavioral Sciences, Criminology & Criminal Justice, and Women's & Gender Studies Faculty

How do I Embed Streaming Videos in my Course Canvas site?

How May I Lawfully Use a Video in Canvas?

  • Linking: One of the best options for helping students access online video content is to link to the source, when the source video is publicly available for viewing on a reputable site.  For instance, posting a link in Canvas to a YouTube video is an efficient, noninfringing way to direct students to a video. 
  • Public domain: If a video is in the public domain, you are free to upload that video to Canvas for your students to access, stream, or download. Videos produced by the U.S. government or videos for which copyright has expired are common examples of videos in the public domain. Currently, motion pictures produced and exhibited more than 95 years ago are in the public domain. The public domain status of newer films are more difficult to determine. You can reach out to if you have questions about whether a particular film is likely to be in the public domain.
  • Creative Commons or Other Licenses: If the video you want to use has a Creative Commons or other license, you should be able to use the video within the constraints of that license. It is important that you look at the license you are relying upon to make sure that you are comporting with its terms. 
  • Fair Use of Short Clips: Short clips of a film can be used as a fair use for a variety of reasons, including criticism, comment, teaching, scholarship, or research. The fact that you are using the clips in an educational context, while important, is not enough to establish a fair use.  Fair use analyses can be complicated, so there is always some risk when you are making this kind of assessment.  Using only as much of a film/video as you need to to make your point and making sure that you are using only a fraction of the original are important elements to making a fair use. You can reach out to if you have questions about how to make fair uses of clips in your course. For more information about Fair Use, see Fair Use FAQ (part of the Copyright and Course Websites guide at U-M).
  • Personal Accounts: Using a personal streaming account (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) to screen share a film in an online class may put you in violation of your terms of service. Most streaming services have detailed membership agreements that do not allow streaming outside of personal viewing. Generally, using a personal account to show a film in class would not be allowed, but the provider's terms of service may give greater detail into this question. 

How can I reserve videos and DVDs for classroom use?

Request DVDs in advance for classroom use from UM-Dearborn Library or Ann Arbor's Askwith Media Library:

Fill out this online DVD Reservation form to reserve UM-Dearborn library DVDs for specific class dates, for up to 3 weeks. You can book DVDs for your course up to a year in advance.

Askwith Media Library DVDs can be reserved on two day loan and delivered to UM-Dearborn library

  • Search for your DVD title in the Askwith Media Library catalog
  • Click on your DVD title in the list of results
  • Click Advance Booking at the bottom right 
  • Under the Location drop-down menu, select UM-Dearborn Mardigian Library

Do I need to get a public performance license when I show a video or DVD to my class?

According to the UM-Dearborn Campus Policy for Commercial Videos, faculty can show a commercial video without an educational or a public performance license when ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • The film or video is chosen by the instructor
  • It is shown in a face-to-face setting in a classroom
  • The content of the video is directly related, and of material assistance, to the teaching of the course
  • It is an integral part of the class session (it helps to include it in the course syllabus)
  • The showing is limited to students officially enrolled in the course
  • The film or video is lawfully obtained (i.e. not illegally downloaded)

Please consult the UM-Dearborn Campus Policy for Commercial Videos for more information about showing commercial videos in your classes.

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