Copyright Policy

C-SPAN's copyright policy is designed to encourage use of our public affairs programming by educators in their work. The license below grants them the rights to do so.

General License

National Cable Satellite Corporation, d/b/a C-SPAN ("C-SPAN") hereby grants educators the right to make a copy of any C-SPAN-produced program without receiving prior permission from the network, so long as the copying (i) is for an educational use, (ii) is not offered for sale or subsequent distribution, and (iii) C-SPAN is credited as the source of the video being used. As public domain material, the video coverage of the floor proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and of the U.S. Senate is not subject to this license, and as such, may also be similarly used for educational purposes.

The terms of this license constitute a liberal copyright policy that allows educators to record C-SPAN-produced programs (at school or at home) for later use. Such programs may be retained in perpetuity for future in-classroom use.

No license fee shall be due for using C-SPAN-produced programs as an educational resource so long as such use is made in accordance with the terms of this license.

Guidelines for Use in Digital Form

Educators who use C-SPAN-produced programs in digital form must do so subject to the terms of the General License (see above). The following guidelines describe uses that are in compliance with the General License. It is not an exhaustive list, and it may be changed as technology changes.

Use of a C-SPAN-produced program in digital form is in compliance with the General License when:

  • An educator records C-SPAN content off-air and digitizes the content.
  • An educational institution records the content and digitizes it.
  • An educator digitizes content obtained from the C-SPAN Archives.
  • An educator retains digital copies indefinitely for educational use.
  • The C-SPAN content is exhibited for classroom instruction by means of a server or by means of a medium such as a computer hard drive or removable data storage media.
  • An educator provides C-SPAN content on CD-ROM/DVD, so long as it is made available free to all students in the course.
  • An educator uses C-SPAN digital content in academic presentations for which compensation is reasonably considered to be nominal.
  • An educator or educational institution posts C-SPAN-produced content on a non-commercial website.

If digital forms of C-SPAN content are used in ways that might lead to an effective loss of copyright or to an inappropriate use, including commercial use, a separate license may be required. For example, the following uses in the educational context will require a written license that may or may not include the payment of a license fee:

  • A distance-learning course featuring an open delivery system, transmission of the class via public broadcasting stations, local CATV or public access stations and the Internet. This would also include the transmission of the class on satellite.
  • An "educational" entity (e.g., publishers, teachers, educational institutions, and governments) that provides material to students or others on different campuses by computer systems, electronic access, or other media (CD-ROM/DVD).

This list is not exhaustive. If you have any question about whether an intended educational use of C-SPAN-produced programming would require a written license, please contact C-SPAN Classroom or you may simply submit your request to the C-SPAN Archives with our online form.

Teacher Generated Content on

Educators who register as members of are permitted to use C-SPAN-produced programs to create video clips, lesson plans and other education related material referred to as Teacher Generated Content ("TGC") for use on the website upon C-SPAN's review and approval. If you, as a registered member of, submit your own or someone else’s material as part of your TGC, you must agree to give C-SPAN certain rights in that material. Those rights are described to you during the membership registration process. C-SPAN, at its sole discretion, may or may not use your TGC. If we do use it, it will be on our websites and otherwise only for educational purposes related to its non-commercial and educational purposes.