One of the key principles behind copyright is ownership and allowing an original creator to maintain control over where and how their work is displayed, distributed, reproduced, and so on. It may seem like embedding a video or using a hyperlink or QR code are interchangeable options, but there are some important distinctions in intellectual property.
Hyperlinks & QR Codes:
Generally, hyperlinks and QR codes to content that supplements your TpT resource (like a blog post, newspaper article, a video) can be safe options. However, there are two things you should keep in mind before incorporating a hyperlink or QR code into your TpT resource:
- The website must have the right to host the content you’re hyperlinking or including a QR code for. For example, if your resource requires students to read a newspaper article before completing an exercise, direct your users to the article on the newspaper publisher’s website, not a third party who copied the article on a personal webpage.
- Some website owners have adopted what’s called “no link” policies. So, you’ll need to be aware of whether the site you want to link to has any restrictions like this, or ask for permission to link to the content you’re interested in if it does have such a policy.
If you provide hyperlinks or QR codes in your TpT products, it will be up to you to make sure that your linked resources are current and accessible. If the links are outdated or the content has been removed from the system you linked to, we may have to issue a refund to your Buyer and deactivate your product.
Because embedded videos display content from the original creator’s work in your resource, they are less safe to use legally than hyperlinks and QR codes. For this reason, our policies do not permit you to use embedded videos, including, for example, YouTube videos, unless you have permission (like a license). You still have the option to hyperlink or include a QR code, as long as you meet the criteria laid out above. We appreciate that embedding videos may have other benefits like visual appeal, and further control over content, but nonetheless they are not permitted without permission.