Improve H5P regarding handling copyright

otacke's picture

If you are actively creating content for teaching purposes you may have had to deal with copyright issues at some point. Especially if you're creating content that's intended to be shared and remixed on the internet, you should. Let's call that kind of content open educational resources (OER). Unfortunately, copyright laws tend to be quite complex and sometimes counterintuitive, but they may differ from country to country. The danger of unintentionally infringing on copyright scares away many people who'd like to contribute something to the OER pool. Maybe there are some things that H5P could do better to take away some of the fear.

I have some issues/ideas that I'd like to share and discuss here. They are not real feature requests yet.

1) While H5P allows to support copyright information when uploading images, videos and sound samples, it does not for text. In consequence, some information may be missing in the overview that's generated by H5P. On the other hand, I guess that hardly anyone copies long texts to a content type, and short passages may be covered by (local) citation law. So that's probably not a big deal.

2) As mentioned above, H5P allows to support copyright information for media that you use to create your content, but there's no option to list the information for the content type itself, e.g. your name and (new) license information. I guess this might be integrated to the very core of H5P, so the option is available in every content type automatically.

3) I think it's great that H5P allows you to choose creative commons licenses. In addition, it would be great if H5P assisted you with remixing. It could warn you if you combine creations with licenses that are not compatible (e.g. CC BY-SA and CC BY-NC). Based on the licenses of the media that you have used, it could show you what kind of licenses are possible for your content type. For example, if you use content that licensed under the CC BY-SA licence, you cannot choose any other license yourself. Also, H5P could assist with hints if not all the necessary information has been given. For instance, giving appropriate credit to the creator of something that was CC licensed means more than providing the name. Also, the different versions of the CC licenses may differ slightly. It is complicated!

I am pretty sure that most people who use a CC license for their content don't care whether other people follow the license terms meticulously. Still, those other people may be reluctant to use those contents at all if there's the slightest chance that someone sues them.

4) Since H5P allows to use videos from YouTube by entering the URL: It would be nice if the copyright information could be retrieved via the YouTube API (I have not yet have a look if that's possible) or scraped from the website.

5) There are some other media repositories that provide copyright information such as soundcloud or flickr. It might generate some trust if it was possible to include media from those directly as well -- including the copyright information.

What do you all think about those issues/ideas? What would you like to add? I'm not adressing Joubel here in the first place ...

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falcon's picture

Very good thoughts, and very relevant for the Content Hub. Thank you, otacke, for sharing!

roblespar's picture

I agree with otacke. As we move to using more OER and external subject matter experts in our university teaching platforms we need to identify the copyright on all the content types to meet the legislative requirements to protect institutions using the material for teaching.

falcon's picture

Sure, there will be more copyright info for multimedia and possible to add it to all H5P content types(including when used as sub-content). Will be released along with the H5P Content Hub.

I am looking to protect the works of our faculty that are created in H5P.

I am an instructional designer, and one of our faculty is interested in using, but wants to ensure that the information entered is proprietary, and cannot by used by H5P or an other entity.

I'm looking for advice as to whether the information entered into can be protected from the public and kept only in Canvas for our organization's students.

Thank you.

otacke's picture

Hi gkwhite!

You have full control over who can access your content.



Hi friend, do you know any course about licences? something like CC Creative Commons?

Thank you in advance.


otacke's picture

Hi Francisco!

Sure. Why not have a look at or some of the other resources at



ASTN's picture

Hi Oli,

I can´t believe You guys where at this point 3 years ago, I am currently at the moment. I was asked to produce H5P examples and tutorials for my colleagues here in Baden-Württemberg, which was fun in H5P, but boy, I can only second You - reagarding licenses: it´s complicated. I think OER is a great think, though. So handling with CC-licenenses is worth it.

What I came across, was exactly the issue with the text-licenses (e.g, author-list of wiki-articels in H5P-timeline). I ended adding the information in textboxes, after trying to place it in image descriptions - which would have worked, if the max chars would have been bigger.

I am looking forward and