Introducing Hollywood Movie Clips

Hi everyone, 

I was wondering whether using Hollywood movie idea would prove to be effective in getting a point across to the learner.

For example: For a course on Mentoring, I was thinking of drawing some analogies from the movie 'Remember the Titans'.

Would love to hear if anyone of us have done this before and see some examples of it. 

Also, is it good idea to include actual movie clips? Would there be any copyright issues involved while embedding these into your e-learning courses?

15 Replies
Paul Kornman

FYI: I worked on a project years ago (2004) which involved psychiatrists looking at movie clips (e.g. Vertigo) and analyzing the characters in terms of actual symptoms, prognosis, and treatment.

We were not allowed to use any clip from any movie itself. To get around the problem, we had to include the commercial DVDs of the movies in question as part of the packaging so the audience could refer to the scenes.

It's possible rights and permissions have changed since then, but I doubt it.

Gerry Wasiluk

As an alternative (though I do like the ability to refer to movies), instead of using an actual movie, create your own (or the appeatence of it with appropriate pictures or graphics or videos).

When you use an actual movie, you always run the risk of someone having some issues with it, like someone who hated "Remember the Titans" or who has never seen it and may not catch any metaphors or references.

Doreen Rambke-Hartz

Actually, it's an copyright infringement if you use a DVD you rented/own, outside of home use unless you have permission from the copyright holder.  You can get the legal information and request a quote for obtaining legal usage from the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation.

http://www.mplc.org/page/about-copyright-law

Suman Y

Thank you everyone, for your inputs and suggestions. Thanks Doreen for the copyright link.

Well yes, for internal training and discussions I think its fine to use the commercial DVD. I don't think I'm not going to embed any clips into the courses. Maybe I'll work a way around to depict the same.

Gerry Wasiluk

Maxim Sergeev said:

And what can you say about cartoon's movie? I want use images of Homer Simpson in course for commercial use. Is it legal?

(sorry for maybe stupid question)


Probably not legal without permission or paying for rights.

Rule of thumb:  When in doubt of using an image of a character owned by a company, DON'T.

Fionn Kelly

Actually there are books on teaching Psychiatry with reference to movies and published research which says that this is an excellent way to engage learners as engaging with interesting movie clips starring actors/actresses they know has got to be more interesting than just sitting down and reading yet another installment of "death by 1,000, wordy powerpoint slides".

Basically though there's an evidence base for it but obviously there may be issues in terms of copyright. I'm not sure what the situation is in terms of linking to possibly copyrighted clips on youtube though.

Nita  Venter

We are currently building a Mental Health and Mental Illness elearning module for one of our clients, and we tried to get permission to use a 10 second clip from the PBS YouTube link  on the story of John Nash - A Brilliant Mind that was the frame for the Russel Crowe's Brilliant Mind, but the cost is either too expensive or, in some cases,  some filmmakers or copyright owners will not even respond to the written request. Eventhough this material is for education purposes only,  or legal team have advised NOT to include any snippets in the material. We can however, add the URL links to the students as reference that they can go and see on their own. (We also provide them with specific time stamps in the movies to see).

That being said, YouTube does have videos that are creative commons licenses - you might find something there.

You can also try looking in the Public Domain Archives, OpenFlix, pdcomedy, pdman -

I agree with Gerry's comment on the rule of thumb - when in doubt, leave it out

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi All,

I totally agree with Gerry. I taught a "copyright for teachers" workshop many years ago. The most oft-repeated fallacy was it's OK if you're not making money and if it's only in the classroom or for internal use. This is why we ran the workshop (My project manager said people think "copy right" means you have "the right to copy" )

There are many true stories of companies sending cease and desist orders if they discover their content has been used, even in public schools, during recess. 

This is a great web site with lots of clear explanations about Fair Use and Copyright:

http://www.benedict.com/

Interesting aside: Did y'all know George Harrison was sued for copyright infringement of "My Sweet Lord?" You can check it out at the benedict site.

Maxim Sergeev

Nita Venter said:

We are currently building a Mental Health and Mental Illness elearning module for one of our clients, and we tried to get permission to use a 10 second clip from the PBS YouTube link  on the story of John Nash - A Brilliant Mind that was the frame for the Russel Crowe's Brilliant Mind, but the cost is either too expensive or, in some cases,  some filmmakers or copyright owners will not even respond to the written request. Eventhough this material is for education purposes only,  or legal team have advised NOT to include any snippets in the material. We can however, add the URL links to the students as reference that they can go and see on their own. (We also provide them with specific time stamps in the movies to see).

That being said, YouTube does have videos that are creative commons licenses - you might find something there.

You can also try looking in the Public Domain Archives, OpenFlix, pdcomedy, pdman -

I agree with Gerry's comment on the rule of thumb - when in doubt, leave it out


thanks a lot Nita. now for me it's clear.