Possible solutions for using non-captioned third-party videos

The aim is to not have instructors strip their class of dynamic and interesting content in order to satisfy accessibility requirements. Consider the following options that may allow you to include such content.

Option: designate as optional material

  • Consider making the video optional, but make sure it is not essential to student learning.
    • Is it reasonable to expect a student to succeed as well without access to the material in the video?
  • If you deem it truly optional material, clearly indicate this where you link to the video and that will suffice for accessibility compliance.

Option: use 10% or less of the video or audio

  • Copyright law says it is up to the individual to determine “Fair Use” with this criteria in mind:
    • How much of the whole piece is being used?
    • Is the heart of the work being used? A 60 min video might have one common theme that you can capture in 5 min. and you might deem it fair use and the company or individual who created it might say otherwise.
    • The Information is being used for educational purposes using parody, commentary, criticism, or for news reporting.
  • Fair Use guidelines is to allow up to 10 percent of the total or three minutes (whichever is less) of videos as copyright free.  
  • For music, lyrics, and music video, the policy is that you can use up to 10 percent, but no more than 30 seconds from an individual musical work. Using the hook of a song which may not even be 30 seconds, yet it may be considered fair use by some, and then not by others. This is a grey area, so proceed with caution.
  • Keep in mind, you will still need to provide captions and/or transcripts.

Option: obtaining permissions

  • You will be able get a video captioned through the DECT grant if you do not have permission from the copyright holder, but it is against their policies. It is strongly advisable that you get permission. It is the responsibility of the instructor and the school to obtain permission. Contact Media Services in Doyle Library for help with getting permission.
  • Media Services will try to contact the owner of the video to get permission to caption the video and for streaming rights.
    • By adding captions to a third party video, you will need to stream the video from your site. It is not advisable to put the video back up on a third party site. (Only the owners of the work in question can replace an existing video with the new video with captions) Streaming the video (delivering it from your site) is akin to publishing, so it is imperative to get permission and streaming rights.
    • A formal permission letter to add captions is available from Media Services, which will provide a contract between the copyright holder and SRJC, so that SRJC cannot be held liable for copyright infringement.
    • Streaming requires a separate license that will generally involve paying a licensing fee. Most copyright holders will not allow you to stream their videos without paying them the licensing fee, including videos found on YouTube.

Option: offer alternative(s)

  • Investigate if an alternative can be found that will give the disabled student another option for taking in the necessary content.
  • You can still link to or embed the video, but also offer the alternative resource with added, clear language for the disabled.
  • This may involve creating alternative assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. for the disabled.

Option: investigate alternative options for linking to non-captioned video

  • You may be able to use a crowdsourcing site such as Amara.org or others like it to create a transcript or captions for a video you found on a third party site. 
  • In this process, you embed video on the Amara site, add subtitles yourself or ask viewers to help. This will allow you to have a transcript or text file as a companion to the video.
  • Creating a transcript for a video does not change the video itself so it does not cause copyright infringement.
  • As a bonus sites like Amara may give you access to videos with popular content that have already been captioned.

Option: accommodation

  • Accommodation involves dealing with the needs of disabled students as they arise. For instance, a hearing disabled student identifies themselves to the instructor, then all multimedia will need to be captioned as soon as possible.
  • When falling back on accommodation, you need to have a plan on how to implement it. Consider how realistic your plan is for quickly providing accommodation.
  • You will need to include accommodation language where you link to the video so that disabled students will know they can be accommodated upon request.
  • Accommodation is the option of last resort for online classes. Only resort to accommodation if you absolutely need to.
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