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Basic Look at Video Editing: Where to Start

A basic look at the video editing applications iMovie & Adobe Premiere Rush

Make sure you know the type of material you are going to use. Whether it is photos, vector images, videos, sounds, music, etc. If you are creating the source material yourself you may not need to worry about copyright*.  If you are downloading from the internet please be aware of the copyright to avoid any legal mishaps.

* Please take a look at our Copyrights Basics page for further explanation.

Types of Copyright Usage

Creative Common License- A creative commons license is a license issued by the copyright owner to allow anyone in the world to use his or her copyright work in any manner consistent with that license. For further explanation go here.

Public Domain- describes a work of intellectual property (primarily patents and copyrights) whose legal protection has expired. Once a work has entered the public domain, any person may use the material, change it, perform or generally exercise any of the rights normally associated with copyrights. For further explanation go here.

Fair Use- The Copyright Act provides that the “fair use” of a copyrighted work is not an infringement of copyright. For example, uses of copyrighted material for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research are all activities that are favored and do not necessarily require permission. Unfortunately, there are no bright line rules for knowing in advance whether any particular use is a “fair use.” Something to keep in mind is that "fair use" is not self-executing. Just claiming something is "fair use" does not make it so, and in the event of a lawsuit it will be your burden to prove it as such. For further explanation go here

There are other types of copyright, but these are most common in an academic setting.

Citing Sources

Remember, you will need to cite sources in your video if you're using the words or ideas of someone else. You will also need to cite if the source material you are using requires you to credit the artist or creator. One way to cite these sources is by including a Resources/Works Cited slide at the end of your video. Linked is an APA Guide and an MLA Guide to citing different type of audiovisual media.

Useful Sites

Here are some useful sites that contain media that either have a creative commons license issued, are in the public domain, or are apart of other copyright licenses that give you rights to use their work. These sites may contain media that may be free to use. Please read the copyright license for each source material before downloading to understand whether you (a) can use the material without paying, or (b) use the material without crediting the owner.

For further explanation on copyright please visit our Copyright Basics page or if you have any questions please email our Copyright Officer Stephen Carlisle at


NSUs database Linkedin Learning has tutorials on how to edit videos in iMovie and Adobe Premiere Rush.

For a Linkedin Learning tutorial on iMovie click here.

For a Linkedin Learning tutorial on Adobe Premiere Rush click here.


Our copyrights page give you sources to Public Domain Material.

For additional materials please take a look at some of the following sites.


Photos, Illustrations, Vectors, Videos, Music, Sound Effects, and GIFs

Photos, Videos, and Illustrations


Photos, Videos

Video, Footage, Motion Graphics, Music, and Sound Effects

Backgrounds, Images, and Wallpapers

Images, Photos, PNGs, Vectors, and Videos

Books, Movies, Software, Music, Websites, Audio, Videos, TV, Images, Concerts, etc.