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TV, Film, Videos and DVDs

Viewing in Class

Films, videos and DVDs (including programmes recorded from television) may be shown in lectures, seminars and tutorials for the purposes of instruction, and it does not matter whether the film, video or DVD was purchased or hired. There is a special defence in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act which allows for film and video to be shown in an educational establishment without first having to get the permission of the copyright holder. As long as the showing is for instruction and is only delivered to students on your course, this defence will apply.


Copying films or other programmes from pre-recorded DVD or video is strictly forbidden unless permission to do so has been obtained from the copyright holder. Never upload films on to the Web (including Blackboard) that you have downloaded for personal home use as this is a form of piracy and could have serious consequences for both you and the University.

Off-Air Recordings (Broadcasts)

The University holds an ERA licence which permits the recording of broadcasts from a set range of channels and also the lending of those recordings to staff and students. See the information on the ERA Licence for recording broadcasts on the Licences & exceptions page of the Copyright LibGuide, for more information about what you may do with off-air recordings.


The easiest way to create and share clips, or compilations of clips, in your teaching, is to use Box of Broadcasts (BoB). Manually compiling extracts onto DVD or CD for criticism or review purposes, or in preparation for teaching, will also be acceptable so long as the extracts are not longer than is necessary to demonstrate the point. Don't make the compilation from your personal film collection (digital or otherwise) but rather copy extracts from ERA licensed resources (see Making a hard copy recording). Such compilations may be shown in class or for the students' personal use for the purposes of an assignment but may not be uploaded to Blackboard or the Web, whereas clips and playlists hosted on BoB can be embedded in Blackboard, using the embed codes provided.

Format Shifting

If you have a VHS video and want to convert this to a DVD, please note that format shifting is not permitted under current copyright law. It is hoped that this will change in the future, but for now you must abide by the law. If you do want to convert a VHS to DVD, check the following:

1. Is there a DVD commercially available? If so, you must purchase this.

2. Was the content of the VHS broadcast on terrestrial television? If so, the Library / ITS can convert the VHS to DVD under the terms of the ERA licence.

If neither of the above apply, you will have to contact the copyright holder for permission before you convert the VHS to DVD. Please use the Permissions request template or contact the Copyright & Compliance Officer who will be able to assist.

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