… but copyright is so hard!

As I’ve mentioned before, I teach in the relatively specialized area of Applied Behavior Analysis. It’s very difficult to find high-quality, open-source, accurate material. That is, there are a TON of videos on YouTube about basic concepts of behaviorism (e.g., reinforcement, punishment), but more often than not these materials are made by non-specialists and contain many errors. SO, if I’m going to use content that’s inappropriate, one of my favorite things to do is use things that are FUNNY, but inaccurate.

One of my favorite videos to use in class is the Daria episode “The Lab Brat.” In this video, the eponymous character is assigned to train a rat using operant conditioning to run a rat maze. Complete the maze, get the cheese. Throughout the video, there are also many references to operant conditioning changing the the main characters.

A screenshot of the character Daria and another character standing over a rat maze.

Image source: Outpost Daria

Earlier this semester, I attempted to find and use a relatively short video clip from the episode this video without luck. Of course, I had waited FAR too long to prep the assignment in which I wanted to use the video, so I attempted to find an old video stored on my computer from a dog’s age ago and upload it to YouTube (with attribution, of course). Naturally, I got the YouTube Red Screen of Death:

screenshot of youtube copyright claim error message

Image Source: YouTube


In retrospect, things would have been much better for me and the class had I simply called Eric at Academic Innovations and eLearning to initiate a permissions request. I’ll certainly be looking into that in the future, because it really is one of my favorite videos!

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