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Copyright guide

This is a companion guide to the RMIT Copyright webpages for staff and students.

Copyright and videos for teaching

Find out how to use videos in Canvas and blended environments for teaching without infringing copyright and putting yourself and RMIT University at risk.

Queries may be directed to Copyright services, email:

Videos, Copyright and Canvas (Library Short)

Videos, Copyright and Canvas (Library Short) (7:20 mins), RMIT University Library, Microsoft Stream. (RMIT login required)

YouTube videos

There is no blanket educational licence that allows downloading of videos from YouTube or Vimeo. Downloading videos may be considered a breach of the sites Terms of Service.

YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sites can be used as long as the material you wish to use has been placed online by the copyright holder. Videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sites must be embedded or linked to and not uploaded to Canvas.

It is important to ensure that the material you wish to use is not an infringing copy.

See the Library Short: YouTube and Copyright: How to identify the Copyright owner (3:34 mins) by RMIT University Library, Microsoft Stream (RMIT login required).

Embedding YouTube videos and retaining closed captions

If a YouTube video is added to a Canvas page via Studio, the captions are stripped out.

If a YouTube video is added via the embed code, the captions remain but there is very poor contrast.

If a YouTube video is added via Emble> media+Caption> Studio and select YouTube from the pop-up menu, the captions remain and are displayed as white text on a black background.

Recording broadcast TV programs for students

RMIT University has an educational licence (Screenrights Licence) that allows any program to be recorded from TV or scheduled streamed content within Australia and screened for students for educational purposes. The licence is not limited to ‘educational titles’ but instead to ‘educational purposes’, being: 

  • Made for teaching purposes including preparation for teaching a class 
  • Made and used as a part of a course and study 
  • Made and retained in the Library for use as a teaching resource 

The licence also allows recordings of free-to-air broadcasts that have been made available on catch-up services such as ABC iView, SBS on Demand, etc., to be recorded via Canvas or a Collaborate Ultra/Echo360. 

Note: Screenrights does not apply to video-on-demand streamed media services such as Netflix and Stan.

So that you don’t have to copy programs from free-to-air TV yourself, the Library subscribes to the databases with Screenrights content from broadcast TV.

Copyright notice

The copyright notice below must be included with any communications of Screenrights video from Canvas.   

A Screenrights notice is built into content from TV News (Informit)EduTV (Informit), and Library Offair video collection 


This material has been reproduced and communicated to you by or on behalf of RMIT University in accordance with section 113P of the Copyright Act 1968 (Act).  ​ 
The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act.​ 
Any further reproduction or communication of this material by you may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.​ 

Screening videos for students (Collaborate Ultra/Echo360)

Section 28 is an exception in the Copyright Act that allows the screening of films and videos in class such as lectures and tutorials.  

The material being shown under section 28 cannot be recorded. You must stop recording whilst playing copyright-protected videos in class.  

There are some exceptions where you do not have to stop the class recording.  

  • Showing Screenrights licenced video

  • Showing video with a Creative Commons licence

If you are not using the Library's licensed videos check-in with Copyright Services to establish if the film screening requires permission, email: