WikiEducator:Embedding links to third party content

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Icon objectives.jpg
The purpose of this page is to
  • discuss a responsible way forward for embedding links to third party content in WikiEducator in ways which align with our community values
  • to document community thoughts and recommendations
  • to plan and implement a trial period
  • to consider the formation of a Community Workgroup to consider policy implications if required.


  1. WikiEducator users have been querying and requesting the ability to embed video links to third party hosted rich media.
  2. 19 February 2010 - Do WikiEducator's want to embed links to video in their OER resources? to our main community lists highlight key questions and issues.
  3. 26 February 2010 - Responses thus far from members of the community are positive and supportive of
    • the educational value of video
    • the proposed criteria and implementation interpretations regarding the free cultural works definition
    • the notion of trialing before taking a final implementation decision.

Criteria for determining suitable third party media sites

WikiEducator subscribes to free cultural works licensing as a core value of our community. This necessitates the following criteria for open content resources aligned with the core mission of WikiEducator:

  • Licensing: The source video must be clearly tagged and searchable according to free cultural works approved licenses, for example CC-0, CC-BY and CC-BY-SA as well as the public domain declaration. (This excludes YouTube under their current, March 2010, conditions of service).
  • Editable formats and access to the source data: "Where a final work has been obtained through the compilation or processing of a source file or multiple source files, all underlying source data should be available alongside the work itself under the same conditions." [1]
  • Free file formats, specifically the requirement that "[w]hile non-free formats may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy must be available for the work to be considered free."[2] So for example, while the flash video format (flv) may be used by the third party site for displaying the video, before it can be embedded on the WikiEducator site, there must be unrestricted access to a free file format of the video hosted by a trusted partner.
  • Exceptions for ancillary activities not deemed to be part of the core mission of WikiEducator, for example news feeds from non-free sources which do not form part of the OER materials, calendar widgets used to plan projects, discussion forums etc. Where ancillary services content is embedded from third parties -- preference will be given to service providers that can provide open file formats of their data.
  • No commercial advertising: This facility should not carry commercial advertising in line with our de facto practice of maintaining an advert free OER site on This may require a level of user discretion particularly when adverts are embedded within the video.

Third party sites meeting these criteria

  1. BlipTV currently meets these requirements most notably the arrangement where BlipTV account holders who are registered with the Internet Archive can request copies of openly licensed video to be mirrored on the Internet Archive where an open file format will be available for download. BlipTV also provides the ability to download file formats which can be converted into open file formats using free software.
  2. Wikimedia Commons, by default would meet these requirements as a foundation which subscribes to the free cultural works defition.


  1. Version 1.1
  2. Version 1.1
Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg