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How to do a Video Essay: Referencing & Copyright

An introduction to the video essay

How to Reference Your Video Essay

Referencing your video essay requires you to cite each film, sound track, image, information source etc that features in your essay.  It is important to acknowledge all of your sources and allows colleagues to follow the path you’ve taken.

The referencing system adopted as standard by ECU is called the APA system (American Psychological Association). The referencing subject guide published by ECU now includes multimedia examples, book, journal article, website referencing and handy links, videos and tips.


Australian Copyright law allows for a student in a University to use film and video for study/research purposes (eg an assignment or class presentation). It is important to understand and acknowledge the copyright legislation.  Refer to the following web references for copyright information in Australia.

What is Creative Commons (CC)?

Creative Commons (CC) is a copyright-based system of licences or "permissions for the use of copyright materials.

Depending on the permissions the licenser allows, you can copy, publish in digital form, publicly perform (all or in part) according to baseline rights:

  • Attribute (acknowledge) the authorship
  • Not alter terms of licence unless you obtain permission from the creator to override any restrictions
  • Link to licence from copies of work
  • Not use technology (digital rights management), to restrict other licensees' uses of work.

How Can I use Creative Commons?

If you want to use an image, video clip, document or work under the Creative Common license there are different license terms.The most basic licence allows you to copy, distribute, display, perform, edit, remix and build upon the work for commercial or non commercial purposes, provided you attribute the creator, additional creators and link to the source. A CC licence may have one or more additional elements which carry further licensing terms. Refer to choose a license at

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity addresses the values that reflect honest and rigour in Academics and to support students in the process of developing their own academic voice. Academic integrity is an aspect of academic literacy and includes the teaching of referencing, paraphrasing, and how and when to quote a source.

At Edith Cowan University, we encourage the integration of AIM: Academic Integrity Module into a first year core unit, so that students have a basic understanding of academic integrity and APA referencing (or AGLC citations for law students).

There are penalties for students who knowingly plagiarise, collude, or use the work of others with or without their knowledge. Individual Schools are responsible for matters of academic misconduct, so please talk with your Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning regarding any concerns and refer to the ECU Academic Misconduct Rules for further information.

For more information please visit ECU Academic Integrity

What is the Public Domain?

Materials in the public domain are not restricted by copyright and can be: copied, reused, shared, or distributed in many ways - for your assignments, presentations, published works and in the classroom.  

Public domain materials can be used without permission from the creator or paying a fee and there are no restrictions on their use. Examples of public domain materials include:

  • government documents
  • commercially published and privately created (unpublished) works after a statutory period has passed. (generally anything published before 1923)
  • any copyrights associated with the work have expired, forfeited or waived
  • where copyright is not applicable

Public domain images and collections may or may not explicitly state their status. If in doubt contact the source of the image.

Public Domain Images and Video

Images in the 'public domain' are free to use as display, modify, print without the need to seek permission for the originator of the image. However, rules still apply in the context of how these images are used.

Click on the resources links to access image collections and information on what is allowed and what it not.

Open Access (OA)

Open access resources are findable, accessible, inter-operable and re-usable sources that are licensed with permissions for individual and organisations to access, adapt and use the resource for their own use.Examples include Open Access Publishing, Open Access Books, Open Access education resources.

For more information, please access the Open Access Library Guide and resource links below: