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Copyright and Fair Use: Videos

Stated Licenses (Creative Commons & Public Domain)

There is a Creative Commons filter option that will limit your search results to videos with stated licenses. Check out the other helpful filter options as well (date, length, etc).

YouTube search filters, with the Creative Commons option highlighted

To see the license for a YouTube Video, click on the Show More option on the About tab. The section will expand the the license should be located near the bottom. If it is a Creative Commons license, it will be a hyperlink that you can click for more information.

Show More button expands info and shows license.

Vimeo search filters

There is an option to limit search results to only show items with Creative Commons licenses. On the main search results page, look for the Advanced Filters option on the right. This expands into a menu of filter options, including date uploaded and length. At the bottom of this menu, you will see a drop-down option for license. You must select a particular Creative Commons license; it will not search all CC videos at once.

Vimeo videos show license information directly under the video, next to the title and creator name. You can click on the icons to see the full license from the Creative Commons website.

Vimeo license information is by creator and upload info






Your attribution should follow this format, which adheres to Creative Commons best practices.

Title of video file [linked to original hosting site] by Author [linked to profile page] under License [linked to license deed].


Your attribution should follow this format:

Title of work [linked to original hosting site] by AuthorDate (if known, or n.d. if not known). Public Domain.


Creator, A. A. [Screen name].  (Date of Upload). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://website.url

  • If the author's full name is available, list the last name followed by initials. If only a screen name is available, omit the name and list this first without brackets.
  • Provide the exact date of the posting.


Davies-Carr, Howard. [HDCYT].  (2007, May 22). Charlie bit my finger - again! [Video file]. Retrieved from

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. (2014, June 17). Jimmy and Kevin Hart ride a roller coaster [Video file]. Retrieved from

JasonHawkes. (2013, June 13). New York aerial footage [Video file]. Retreived from


View the Reference Examples section 7.11 of the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for more information.