Using film and video material

When using film and video material as part of teaching your course you need to ensure they are for educational purposes.


There is no licence that covers use of commercial films, so use on campus is covered by the Copyright Act.

Playing films for educational purposes

Under the Copyright Act you need permission to perform, play or show a film in public. However films may be played before an educational audience for instructional purposes, if only staff and students are to be present.

If you are holding a public lecture different rules apply and you should contact the copyright officer to discuss.

Copying a film or film sound-track

A film or film sound-track may be copied for use in the course of instruction (including both preparation, and use after the course of instruction), if the copying is done by or on behalf of a person giving or taking the course on how to make films or film sound-tracks and no charge is made for the copy.

TV shows, broadcasts and podcasts

The University has a licence with Screenrights which allows the University to copy radio and television programmes for use in teaching and research.

Under this licence you can copy:

  • any programme—movies, documentaries, Māori language programmes, new and current affairs
  • anywhere—make copies at home or in your library
  • from any channel—pay or free to air
  • AV material legally available online—download podcasts, or programmes from the internet
  • In any format—copy onto VHS, DVD, a hard drive or a content management system
  • from old copies—update your old copies into digital format to use in teaching or keep in the library as a resource.

Using eTV

You can also use a content management system, such as eTV, to store and play copies. Find out how to get started with eTV.

Tips for using film and video material

You can make one copy of a:

  • film or video—online under the screenrights licence
  • film or video—broadcast under the screenrights licence.

You can make multiple copies of a:

  • film or video—online under the screenrights licence, but must be on the internet with permission of copyright owners (illegal copies cannot be copied under the licence)
  • film or video—broadcast under the screenrights licence may be streamed to authorised users screenrights licence.

You cannot make copies of a film or video—commercial DVD unless the lesson consists of or includes the making of a film or a soundtrack, but you can show to a class for educational purposes.