The best and easiest way to use content available on YouTube is to link directly to the video.  Here is a tutorial on embedding a YouTube video in D2L’s Content area http://uwmltc.org/?p=5828

Downloading videos from YouTube is a complicated issue involving ownership and copyright.  Essentially, everything that is uploaded to YouTube is owned by someone very often it is NOT owned by the person who has uploaded it.

The most important thing to understand is that just because a video is available on YouTube, doesn’t mean that it is not copyrighted; it just may not have been removed yet.  YouTube has two main types of systems in place for handling content uploaded by users who don’t own the content.  One type looks for copyright infringement when the video is uploaded.  The other requires the content owner to make a request to have the video removed — a “takedown notification.”  For your reference, more about YouTube’s Content Management systems can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/t/content_management

If the uploaded content is copyrighted and you download it, you are at risk of copyright infringement.

In some cases, however, copyright holders DO allow others to copy and use their materials.  If you are interested, an interesting example can be seen here: http://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_stewart_how_youtube_thinks_about_copyright.html

Even if the content IS OWNED by the person who has uploaded it, it is important to understand that the content BELONGS to that person. Check out: http://www.youtube.com/t/howto_copyright .  This means that you cannot download and use the content without being at risk of copyright infringement.  However, knowing who owns the content means that it is possible to gain permission from that person to download and use their content.  Creative Commons helps people identify way for others to use their web-based materials.

Here is some information about Creative Commons licenses for YouTube video downloads:
http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=140495

If you have obtained permission to download content from YouTube, you can follow these directions:

Before you begin:

You will need to download and install the most recent version of VLC: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

Step #1

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  1. In your browser, go to the YouTube page for the video you’d like to download. Copy the URL by hitting [CTRL+C] on your PC keyboard or [Command+C] on your Mac keyboard.

Step #2

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Open VLC Player (you can download a free version at: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

  1. Click on [Media] in the top navigation bar
  2. Select [Open Network Stream].

Step #3

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  1. Paste the text you copied from YouTube below [Please enter a network URL]. To paste hit [CTRL+V] on your PC keyboard or [Command+V] on your Mac keyboard.
  2. Click [Play].

Step #4

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  1. When the video begins to play, click [Tools] in the top navigation bar.
  2. Select [Codec Information].

Step #5

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  1. SELECT the entire [Location] text, by placing your cursor in the field and hitting [CTRL+A] on your PC keyboard or [Command+A] on your Mac keyboard. Then COPY the text by hitting [CTRL+C] on your PC keyboard or [Command+C] on your Mac keyboard.

Step #6

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  1. Open a browser and paste the text into the address bar. The video should begin to play in the browser window.

Step #7

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  1. Once the video is playing, RIGHT click (or Command click on a Mac) and select [Save video as…].

Step #8

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  1. Download the video to an appropriate location on your computer. Navigate to that location and rename the file by RIGHT clicking (or Command click on a Mac) the file and selecting [Rename].

Step #9

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  1. Rename the video to include the .mp4 file extension.

Step #10

Once the file has been renamed, you can watch it on your computer by opening it in VLC.

To upload the video to D2L, please follow thse directions: http://uwmltc.org/?p=4543