Adding Creative Commons licenses to Kaltura MediaSpace videos

I’ve been working on an internal BCcampus project to set up and configure Kaltura MediaSpace for our internal use. We have a number of use cases, not the least of which are providing a central hosting space for videos created as part of a grant associated with the BC Open Textbook Project. Since these videos will be openly licensed (as is everything we create at BCcampus), I want there to be a visible Creative Commons license with each video to let users know the terms of usage for each video.

Out of the box, MediaSpace has a lot of functionality, but the ability to apply a Creative Commons license to a video is not one of them. So, with a bit of consultation with my colleague (and knower of all Kaltura secrets) Jordi Hernandez at UBC, I was able to add a basic CC license field to the videos we host in Mediaspace.

It is actually a pretty straightforward 2 step process. First, you need to create custom metadata fields in the Kaltura Management Console (KMC), then you have to enable the fields in the Kaltura Mediaspace administration console.

I am using an OnPrem service of Kaltura. The MediaSpace instance I am working on is 5.38.07.

Create Custom Fields in the KMC

After logging into the KMC, I went to Settings > Custom Data. This is where I will set up the custom data scheme and define the CC licenses. Click Add New Schema to create a new Creative Commons Metadata Schema. Give your Schema a name, description and a system name. The system name should be one word and short. We want each video to be able to have their own CC license, so we want this metadata schema to apply to Entries and not Categories.

Once you have the Schema set up, you will want to add the actual licenses as field values. Choose Add field and enter in the different CC licenses that you want to make available to your users. These are the options they will see when they upload a new video, and what people who view the video will see on the screen associated with the video. I chose to make my list a Text Select List so that it would appear as a drop down menu for the person uploading the video.

One nice feature of the custom metadata schemas in Kaltura is that you can enable these items to be searched for in the built in search engine. So, with CC licensed material, someone could come to our video portal site and search for nothing but CC0 videos in our collection. I haven’t explored this fully yet, but it does seem to work at a granular level. Which is both good and bad. Good if you want to search for a specific type of CC licensed content in our collection, like a CC0 or CC-BY video. But not so great if you wanted to search for all CC licensed videos regardless of flavour.

Once that is done, the Schema is setup and we can now slip over to MediaSpace to apply it.

Add the custom fields to the upload form in MediaSpace

I logged into the MediaSpace admin console. The area we want to play in is called Customdata. It may appear with a line through it in your admin console. That just means that the module has not been activated.

Go into the Customdata module and make sure it is enabled. In the profileid field, you should be able to find the custom metadata schema that you just created in the KMC. Choose that. You can also make the field a required field and, if you wish, enable the showInSearchResults field to enable the search index.


That’s it. Save the changes and you now have added a custom CC license field to your videos. When someone uploads a video to MediaSpace, they will have an additional field in a dropdown menu that they can choose a CC license to apply to the video.

And, when people come to view the video in the MediaSpace site, they will see that the video is licensed with a Creative Commons license.

Now when we upload a video to our MediaSpace site, we can assign it a Creative Commons license that people can see.

Good first step

For me, this is a good first step that gives us the option to apply a visual marker to the video in MediaSpace. However, what would be great (and I am not sure that this can be done) would be to have that CC license metadata embedded in the page in the correct metadata format for CC licenses. This would ensure that it would be found in search engines when people search for CC licensed content.

The second improvement would be to somehow embed that CC license metadata right in the video so that if some were to take a copy of this video, the original license information would go along with the actual video when they downloaded it. Doubt that is possible, but that would be a great feature for organizations like ours that produce a lot of openly licensed content.

Finally, I think that it might be a good idea to add a visual bumper as part of the video that would spell out the CC license. It is what we currently do with our videos, and is good practice to help make it clear that the content is openly licensed.

Photo: CC Stickers by Kristina Alexanderson CC-BY


Open Network Learning at Royal Roads University

Next week I begin teaching a course in the Royal Roads MA in Learning & Technology (MALAT) program. The opportunity to teach in the program came up via George Veletsianos and the MALAT program head Elizabeth Childs.

This is a course that George usually teaches in the MALAT program, but George (and Elizabeth) are currently busy developing a new MALAT program at RRU.

Last week, I had the chance to see the new program when I attended a 2 day session at RRU with other associate faculty from both the MALAT program and the wider School of Education.

The new MALAT program at RRU is intriguing. Really intriguing. Theoretical foundations for the program emphasize open pedagogy and network learning.

Over the past 5 years, there has been extensive consultations with various stakeholder groups. The results are a graduate level education program that feels innovative, contemporary, and grounded in the reality of what it takes to learn in a digital, networked enabled world.

It’s a bold vision. Students in the program will take an active and participatory role with the wider education community. They will openly blog (on a newly set up WordPress network at Royal Roads) and develop a social media presence, using both of these tools as pedagogical springboards to take a deep dive into the world of open, networked learning.

Not to dismiss my own experiences as a MALAT grad and the program at the time I was a student (yes, I have all kinds of tendrils intertwined with RRU and this particular program), but there is a small part of me that is slightly remorseful that the timing for a program like this wasn’t quite right 8 years ago when I enrolled as a student. Blogging, using social media, developing a professional network, and using social media tools as personal learning tools is how I operate.

Needless to say, I am smitten with the vision for the program.

What has jazzed me the most in the days since the retreat is that my thinking has been re-energized. I have been jolted back to some of the past work I did on network learning and informal learning, much of which went into my Masters thesis. Things I haven’t thought or written about in years. I realize that I miss having the time and space that a graduate program provides to really think about this stuff; about how the Internet has changed the nature of informal learning, and how important it is to prepare learners with the skills and knowledge to truly become life-long learners.

I see it everyday in my kids as they digitally manouver between formal and informal learning situations. They follow their own interests and passions via YouTube videos and online courses. Beside the regular social stuff that teens and pre-teens do with friends, they do video hangouts with their friends to complete homework assignments. They get daily mobile prompts on their phones to complete micro-French lessons, and stay playfully motivated to keep ahead of their uncle on the leaderboard. They collaborate on school projects with their peers using web-based tools, conducting research online.

These are the types of learning activities I see pedagogically reflected in the new MALAT program that excites me. And I feel lucky to be part of the ride.

Photo: Open Teaching – Thinning the Walls – Revision #2 by Alec Couros CC-BY-NC-SA


I am not quitting social media

But I have been scaling back my use of it.

It began, quite inadvertently and unconsciously, over the holiday break when I realized that there were days where I didn’t post – or even check – a FaceTwitLinkFlickagram feed. Which was unusual.

As I reflected on my use of social media in the past year, I realized that my use of social media had amped up in 2016, especially Facebook. I was spending a lot of mindless time on FB and it was making me feel anxious and stressed. The intense heated rhetoric leading up to the US election on both FB and Twitter didn’t help and I was feeling compelled to be on SM a lot. It wasn’t until the holiday break when I went days without checking and posting that I realized just how much SM was stressing me out.

So, as a new year begins, I am trying to be more mindful of my use of social media. FB and Twitter don’t sit open on my computer. I only check once or twice a day, usually when someone tags me as I have disabled most notifications on my devices to help curb the Pavlovian response. I am only on for a few moments at a time, check notifications, and then pop off. I am not automatically sharing photos or stories I read, despite actually doing more reading, albeit in physical and not digital form. Getting a daily physical newspaper has been the way I have been keeping and mitigating the FOMO for larger issues, although I know I am missing details of friends lives.  However, overall, I feel less tense and stressed, more focused on my immediate surroundings and find I am actually not missing SM all that much.

The one bit that does cause me a bit of angst is that I have spent the past 10 years building a professional digital identity using social media. Although my network and SM use has never been written into a formal job description (in fact, in the early days just the opposite where my use of SM was viewed by some colleagues with F.U.D.), I know that my use of social media is a big component of my professional work and a significant part of the value I bring to the different groups I am involved with. It does cause me some tension when I know that there are things I should be sending to my network and, even though there is no formal expectation from the people I work with that I amplify stuff, I do feel an unspoken (and largely self-induced) expectation that I be engaged. I am not sure if/how I should communicate this scaling back to people in my network, which is why I am writing this blog post that (ironically) most of you will read after I post it to my various social media networks.

I suspect I am not alone in this uncomfortable feeling. I have consciously chosen to blur the lines between my personal and professional life by being engaged on SM as me. It still feels like the most genuine way to use social media. But I do wonder if, by choosing to scale back my use of social media, it may somehow impact me professionally.

I am especially aware of this as I head into teaching a course at Royal Roads University that begins in a few weeks. If there was ever a time I would want to actually ramp up my social media use to model network learning principles to learners, now would be the time.

Also adding to my apprehension about scaling back my use of social media is the fact that my daughter is turning 13 and wants to begin engaging with social media. One of the rules we have always had about her SM use is that when she starts to engage, she needs to have me in her network at least until she gets the lay of land. So, my feeling that I need to scale back on my SM use comes at an awkward time, both personally and professionally.

All this is to say, you are likely not seeing quite as much of me out there on FaceTwitLinkFlickagram and that is intentional. At any given moment, I’ll likely scale it back up. But for now, I’m ok with sitting on the side for a bit as I rebalance and try to find a new equilibrium.

I am also curious as to whether you feel this tension as well. When you have completely blurred the lines between professional and personal on SM, do you feel pressure to continue being fully engaged on SM even when you don’t want to? When your personal wants a break? How do you handle it, and do you communicate with your network that you are scaling back?