Does anyone know of a way to block students from downloading a video file embedded in a Content Page?
Prevent downloading of videos embedded with the Rich Content Editor
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. If you could clarify what the type of video is that you're putting in, hopefully we can get an answer for you!
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!
Hi KATE STEWART
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 Roxanne 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,
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?
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, KATE , here is the link Make a file read-only but Not Downloadable in Canvas
How about uploading media via the RCE rather than inputting it via files?
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!
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:
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!
I guess it comes down to, what was the original issue that KATE was referring to? Was it simply that students are accidentally clicking it (which I've done many times) and its simply an annoyance factor, or are we legally trying to prevent students from downloading the content?
If you've got any clarifications, feel free to send them here, Kate! As you can see, we're all up and open for conversation.
Also while the Canvas embedded video is playing, you can right-click and pull up the submenu with the option to Save this file.
Hehehe I did that just this week when something screwy happened with an embedded video in a course I did not create. So I grabbed the videos and re-uploaded them and pretended that I used magic tricks to make it happen.
In fact, one of my coworkers made a feature request last year Protected Video Player about the ability to download the videos while it's playing from the Canvas embedded player.
And if someone really wanted a video, they could always record a screencast of the video playing on their computer. I confess to doing that for a 15-second clip of a movie scene in a previous life.
Cheers - Shar
Yep! Totally always a work around for these type of things. Its almost an art form.
Unfortunately you are never going to be able to prevent people downloading, recording, grabbing or streaming content if they wish. There is always a work around, a hack or a plugin that will rip the content or format-shift it to another device.
I would suggest that you watermark any content so that it makes it harder to repurpose...
Quick question though. Why would you want to prevent them downloading the videos themselves? It is like asking students not to photocopy pages out of a book?
The videos in question are exam related and we are constantly dealing with 3rd party companies who want to create test prep materials to sell to our students.
I didn't about that problem specifically but I have lots of experience with student finding answers to questions in assignment at online sites. -Anita
Kelley L. Meeusen and Roxanne Conroy,
To keep access limited to students in a single term with a cloud-like service would require us to be constantly creating and updating permissions to limit access to the correct people at the correct time. The simpler solution is to keep access controlled through the Canvas section itself since those permissions are already in place.
I used the "Record/Upload Media" button to add the video so students click on the little preview picture to expand and open the video. The problem is that students can right-click and download the file.
The videos in question are exam content related and we have a constant ongoing struggle with third parties trying to steal our content. I understand that is someone really wants to make a copy of the content they'll find a way. We just want to make that process something that's not simple to keep honest students honest and make it harder for those trying to steal content.
KATE, This really brings up something that could be a new feature idea. Perhaps you could create an idea in the Canvas Studio space about allowing for an embed option that does not give students the option to download the content? Not sure if that's feasible or not, but it's worth a shot. As Kelley L. and Ken mentioned, its difficult in digital age to restrict anyone from getting content, but we can try to make it difficult for others to do so.
KATE, I've marked your response containing the link to the new feature idea "Correct," not because it provides a solution (which we all recognize it does not), but rather because it is indeed the answer; this currently can't be done in Canvas and needs to be the subject of a feature idea.
I'm an online student working from a 3Mb DSL connection. When a teacher puts up content that I can't download it puts me at a disadvantage. Too many content creator are naive about the bandwidth constraints of off-campus students. So I'll just ask "Is this trip necessary?" Please consider the audience before you make your content inaccessible.
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