Q.  Is it permissible to download a YouTubetm video and incorporate it into my on-line course, which is hosted on a restricted access network?

A. In terms of YouTube, their on-site, legal statements indicate that unless there is a download button on the screen for the video desired, it is not permissible to download the video.  Even if it is permissible to download, it is also stated that materials posted on YouTube are for personal use only.  When one agrees/accepts the terms and conditions of using a site, they are now operating under an agreement, which is contractual in nature.  Contract law supersedes copyright. Based on the restrictions stated on the site, I would recommend utilizing links to the video titles you wish to use, rather than downloading and embedding the video segments into your course.

The negative to linking is that you periodically need to check to see if the link is still active or hasn’t been hacked and is pointing to a less desirable location.  However, the positives to linking are not only do you avoid potential copyright issues, but you tie up less space on your institutional server than when storing video segments.

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