iTunes U - Policies

Last Updated: 12/29/2016


You are responsible for making sure the content of your audio, video, or podcast file complies with copyright law, meets university branding standards, is captioned and for making sure that individuals in your recording(s) understand how it will be used and for what purpose.

CU Boulder reserves the right to decide if content is appropriate for the public iTunes U site and can remove content at any time without prior notice. Contributors will always retain ownership, however, once the content is uploaded, CU Boulder and Apple have a non-exclusive, royalty-free right and license to use, reproduce, and modify the format and display of the content. The only thing they are not allowed to change is the substance of the content. 

Terms of Use

Since Apple hosts the content posted through iTunes U, they have placed some general guidelines to govern the appropriateness of content. These are expressed through Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions.

  • Direct links to illegal, socially harmful, or pornographic material are not permitted.
  • Text, images, or sounds, which violate local, state, national, or international laws are not permitted.
  • You may not create pages that contain material copyrighted by someone other than yourself unless permission has been obtained from the copyright holder. The original author and copyright holder should be clearly and fully acknowledged if permission is given. You should even be cautious about creating links to pages that contain unapproved copyrighted material.
  • You may not use CU Boulder on iTunes U for commercial gain.

All rights to ownership of content posted within iTunes U remain with the submitter and the University of Colorado Boulder, and ARE NOT transferred to Apple.

By submitting your content to iTunes U you are agreeing that Apple is permitted to distribute your content via iTunes U. They will not sell your content and may occasionally link to select content in promotional and marketing campaigns. If Apple chooses to use your content in a promotional campaign, they will first notify the CU iTunes U team in writing, and we will pass this notification on to you. All CU Boulder iTunes U users reserve the right to remove their content from the system, and if you object to Apple’s use of your content, please notify us by email at and we will remove your files from iTunes U.


What is copyright? Copyright is a form of protection provided for original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, graphic and audiovisual creations. “Copyright” literally means the right to copy, but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work.

What is copyright infringement? Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.

Posting copyright-infringing content can lead to termination of your departments right to use CU Boulder’s iTunes U environment and possibly monetary damages if a copyright owner decides to take legal action. Below are guidelines to help you determine whether your audio/video file is eligible or whether it infringes someone else’s copyright.

How To Make Sure Your Video Does Not Infringe Someone Else’s Copyrights

The way to ensure that your video doesn’t infringe someone else’s copyright is to use your skills and imagination to create something completely original. It could be as simple as taping some of your students, staff, and faculty and as complicated as filming your own short movie with a script and the whole works. If it’s all yours, you never have to worry about the copyright—you own it! Make sure to follow the other guidelines in the Terms and Conditions.

Be sure that all components of your video are your original creation—even the audio portion. For example, if you use an audio track of a sound recording owned by a record label without that record label’s permission, your audio/video file may be infringing the copyrights of others, and may be subject to removal.

The Creative Commons licensing initiative has created an excellent Podcasting Legal guide. This guide is published as a wiki and can be found on the Creative Commons Wiki. In the guide is a comprehensive review of the legal issues you may face in creating and distributing a podcast.

Resources for Copyright:

University Policies and Resources

Unless otherwise stated, CU Boulder policies and procedures apply to the CU Boulder iTunes U site. These include, but are not limited to:

“Fair-Use” and Privacy

Many educators assume that the copyright doctrine of “Fair Use” will generally cover their use of copyrighted content for any educational use. While this may be true when using content in a physical classroom for teaching, claiming fair use when incorporating copyrighted material into podcasts, audio, or video for broad public consumption (like via iTunes U) is often not correct. The issue of Fair Use & Copyright for teaching and online delivery is complex. The following resources are useful when considering how Fair Use may apply to your particular use of material in a podcast.