I'm planning to start a YouTube channel to help non-Italian speakers learn how to speak Italian. I was wondering if it may be illegal to do so, given I'm not a qualified teacher. Can anybody help? :)

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    It will be free of charge and you won't hand out certificates. How could that be illegal? I've seen similar videos on Youtube. – Roland Jul 17 '17 at 9:15
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    Illegal in which country? – O. R. Mapper Jul 17 '17 at 9:35
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    Why would you even assume that spreading knowledge requires a license? This question seems just preposterous to me. – problemofficer Jul 17 '17 at 13:07
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    @Kapep even that's more about legal advice than teaching about the law – Chris H Jul 17 '17 at 13:43
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about academia. It might be on topic on Law.SE. – Massimo Ortolano Jul 17 '17 at 14:53

Youtube is not a teaching platform, although it is used for such a purpose. People are uploading everything on youtube and they are allowed to do so as long as the content of their videos is legal.

What I mean by legal here, is that the video should fulfil the conditions set by youtube, namely, copyright and Rules of the community.

Otherwise, the content is evaluated by youtube users, whatever its nature. Overall, I would say YES, anyone is allowed to upload his own video to youtube from the legal point of view. However, he should care about giving correct information (especially if it is considered as a teaching video) from the ethical point of view.

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    Math itself is not restricted by copyrights, it is science and any one is allowed to discuss it even wrongly. Note that here, I am talking from the legal perspective. I am not a US resident, so I do not know how the copyrights of publishers are protected. Even so, I do not think that misinterpreting a textbook is a copyright violation. If I made a video and I wrongly explain something published in a textbook, the viewers may correct me or ask to delete the video. – Younes Jul 17 '17 at 10:48
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    What if the examples were interpreted correctly? – user67199 Jul 17 '17 at 10:50
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    Misinterpreting a textbook has nothing to do with copyright, but it might be actionable as "defamation." But since there is little point in going to law just to win a moral argument unless you are also going to get some financial benefit (i.e. damages) it isn't likely to go much further than the video being taken down from the hosting site. On the other hand showing an image of text or diagrams from the original book is almost certainly a breach of copyright, and since it is easy to prove in court, publishers tend to take a very hard line over it. – alephzero Jul 17 '17 at 12:19
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    Youtube rules have nothing to do with legality. TOS and EULAs are generally not legally binding, all they can do is suspend your account and maybe sue for contract breach (although that'd be unlikely to be successful). The more interesting question would be if "teacher" is a protected position where you live, like "engineer" is in some places. I'm not aware of any places where this is the case, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. – Cubic Jul 17 '17 at 14:12
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    Of course a TOU/EULA is legally binding! It's the terms of a contract between the user and the provider. Breaching such a contract carries the same weight in contract law as not paying for a service or not performing a service paid for. The fact that the penalty is insignificant or that the damage is negligible in most cases, doesn't change the underlying idea. – Nij Jul 17 '17 at 22:11

Standard disclaimer: That might depend on where you're located, but I don't know of a place where the below answer would not apply:

Do you claim at any point that you are a qualified teacher? If not, then you are simply making tutorial videos and that is totally ok.

If in doubt, put a comment in your channel or under your video stating that you are an Italian yourself/someone who learned Italian for many years and loves the language/..., and not a teacher, then you should have no problems at all.

If you are using any material, textbook, etc. (even if not showing it to the viewers but just reading from it), be aware of potential copyright issues.


There are videos on youtube, where people are claiming Earth is flat, spaceflight is hoax and vaccines are harming children. Do you really think that anyone cares if you are accredited teacher? As long as you are honestly trying to relay truthful information, you are not doing anything wrong, let alone illegal.

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