Copyright for teaching at VU: Film or Video

Key points

YOU CAN screen commercial films in class under a special provision in the Copyright Act if:

  • The screening takes place as part of educational instruction
  • The only people present are people taking part in the instruction, or people directly connected with the place where the instruction is being given; and
  • The educational instruction is not being given for profit.
  • Just because something is on the internet does not mean it is copyright free.
  • If you wish to use 'off air' material which has been broadcast and recorded from TV or radio go to VU library resources for film or video.

What are 'Multimedia Resources'?

For copyright purposes 'multimedia resources' are any audio &/or video materials, regardless of where they were sourced, such as:

  • YouTube videos
  • Commercial films
  • Music clips
  • Off-air recordings

What can you do


  • Download podcasts from broadcasters’ web sites and put onto VU Collaborate after they have been broadcast
  • Link YouTube videos or show YouTube videos in lectures – unless you think the material could infringe copyright.  Always check the site “Terms and Conditions of use”
  • Link to material freely available on the web.  Check for the “embed” option, but if not available do not embed without permission
  • Play CD, DVD or computer game in a class if only VU students are present (IE. NO VISITORS), and it is for educational purposes
  • Record lectures for students – but not any commercial audio or video material – use the pause recording button while showing commercial films
  • Use material that is out of copyright, available under a suitable Creative Commons licence, or owned by VU.

What you can't do


  • Download a podcast from an Australian broadcaster that has not already been broadcast
  • Download any podcast from a non-Australian broadcaster or a non-broadcast producer
  • Copy or take excerpts from commercial CDs, DVDs or videos to create compilations
  • Record the part of a lecture where a commercial CD or DVD is played. Use the pause recording button
  • Make material available to download.  Files must remain on CMS or LMS or intranet and be password protected.

  It is NOT permitted to make:

  • A commercial film available for online access at a later time away from the class
  • Videos, DVD and audio available by way of streaming from physical media for private study or homework unless your Copyright Officer can authorise it under s.200AB of the Act.

VU library resources for film or video

Link to the VU databases for options.

The s.113P Statutory licence of the Copyright Act of Australia allows VU to copy and communicate some audio visual material (such as ‘off air’ audio visual material) for certain educational purposes.  In order to facilitate this use of ‘off air’ material several collections of videos have been made available for use by teachers at universities.

A good source of broadcast AV can be found on the Clickview database found on the Library's A-Z databases.  If the title you seek cannot be found on Clickview you are able to request it through this resource centre.   

Please contact your College Librarian for any specific requests.

Guest speakers

The content used as part of any presentation (recording) is covered by copyright and intellectual property law. If you are recording a guest speaker it is advisable to get their permission to make the recording by completing the 'Permission for recording guest speaker' document below.

Forward the completed document to  

(Note: This will download to your computer)