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Community Member

Block downloading of embedded video files

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Hello,

Does anyone know of a way to block students from downloading a video file embedded in a Content Page?

Thanks!

1 Solution
22 Replies
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Instructure
Instructure

Hi kstewart@excelsior.edu

Quick question, are you hosting the videos on something like Youtube or Vimeo? Or recording it within the Rich Content Editor?

Hyperlinking a video to a hosted service rather than inputting a video into your course via your files would prevent that from being an issue. Smiley Happy If you could clarify what the type of video is that you're putting in, hopefully we can get an answer for you!

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It's a video file that is loaded into the Files system. Only those with access to the course should have access to the video. Using a hosted service or some kind cloud opens the issue of anyone with the url can access it.

Thanks for your help!

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Hi kstewart@excelsior.edu

This is not necessarily true. You navigate to a URL to access Canvas, and yet have to enter a user ID and password once you get there in order to be able to access anything inside canvas. You might also note that every page and every file in your Canvas classrooms are also web pages - they have an URL.

What Deactivated user‌ was referencing is that many websites offer an extra layer of privacy and protection for your videos files, and that while students might be able to follow the link and view the video, you as the site owner can set restrictions on whatever else they might want to do with those files.

I hope this helps,

Kelley

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Hi kstewart@excelsior.edu

Totally true. Depending on the content, if it's unlisted some may not see it as an issue, but I totally understand the concerns! 

I just recreated your suggestion here. In this quick vid, I upload the video, and then use the RCE to insert the video from the files on the right. 

So instead of clicking the hyperlink, do your students just have the option to click the video to watch?

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This is helpful, Rox, but it still keeps a door open for download. In fact, this is how I find the embed links for videos in the Canvas Guides - I simply click the "vimeo" logo in the bottom right, that takes me to the same video on Vimeo, where I can then get the download link.

There have been several requests over the years to improve the ability to restrict student ability to copy/download any and all types of files in a Canvas course, but unfortunately with digital content there are no true protections. I think Cosme Salazar said it best in her response to a feature idea in 2015...

"As is often the case, David Lyons is right on the money with how we are thinking about this feature request. Building a feature to "lock down" access to files would give teachers a false sense of security regarding access to their files. For many file types, there is no way to give a student the ability to open a file on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, without giving them the ability to download (and share that file). Any object shown on a computer can be copied with a screenshot or a picture taken on a camera phone. It is very unlikely we would ever develop this type of feature."

If you would like to read the discussions for this archived feature request, kstewart@excelsior.edu‌ , here is the link https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1732 

Kelley

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How about uploading media via the RCE rather than inputting it via files?

This video is currently being processed. Please try again in a few minutes.
(view in My Videos)

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I like that method, and you don't get the download link. But, if it comes from a service like Vimeo or YouTube, it still has the active logo hyperlink.

Let's face it my friend, file security just ain't there in the digital world. It's sort of like personal privacy. They both went the way of buffalo felt hats, hand-made cars and 8-tracks!

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Yep!  To demonstrate, here is an embedded video on a Canvas page that, courtesy of program called Internet Download Manager, if I hover over the video it offers to download the file...like magic.  There are many other programs on the market like it:

247992_download this video.jpg

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Hi Ken:

It becomes very challenging to teach copyright in this age. My faculty are so used to just being able to grab what they want off that nice internet, and dump it in their classrooms. "Hey, it's YouTube, that means I can use it, right?", "What do you mean I can't just copy the entire PDF version of my textbook that the publisher provided, and give them to my students?"

Have a great weekend, Ken!

Kelley