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Broadcasts are awesome

I often get asked about using DVD’s to communicate content to students.  The problem with this is that contrary to what everyone wishes, in Australia, we can’t just rip a copy and make it available to students to download, nor can we stream it.  We COULD, if we contacted the production company and sought permission to do so – but that’s often a time consuming and expensive process.  Pretty well the only thing you can definitely do with a DVD is have a screening in class.  The only ways to communicate copies of films and documentaries to students online is to go through a subscribed resource (like Kanopy and Alexander Street Press) OR to make a copy of a broadcast.

And broadcasts, broadcasts are AWESOME.  If you are a teacher, then what 4919503179_79fdff4a26_zyou need to know is that broadcasts are your BEST FRIEND!  Browsing the TV guide, radio program guide and Foxtel guide should be part of your daily or weekly ritual over a cup of coffee – scanning for things that will be useful.  “Broadcasts?” I hear you ask… “What’s so good about a broadcast?”  Well, I’m glad you asked!  BROADCASTS ARE AWESOME because the Copyright Act is super broad when it comes to how we can use broadcasts for teaching.  You, your institution or someone else – anyone else can record broadcasts so that you can use them for teaching.  If you have a recording of a broadcast you can:

  • Stream it online
  • Make copies available to your students to download
  • Make copies on USBs and give a copy to every student in the class
  • Use the recording to make edited snippets
  • Use a whole episode
  • Use an entire season
  • Use all the seasons!

Did you miss the broadcast?  Is it on the broadcaster’s catch up page for TV and radio broadcasts that you might have missed? Well guess what?!  You can even record the copy from there!  See!  Broadcasts are awesome 🙂

You will need to include a Part VA copyright warning notice and you will need to ensure a credit that has the details of the title of the broadcast, when (date) it was broadcast, the channel it was broadcast on and when you made the copy.  But aside from that.  Go crazy!

Unfortunately the exception doesn’t cover on demand services like Presto, Netflix or Stan or even YouTube due to definitions around what a broadcast is in other glorious pieces of legislation.


Image credit: What’s On. On my Grandma’s coffee table by Joe Lodge (CC BY 2.0)


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