A big thanks to  Jim Black, Marketing Manager at Bloxx for taking the time and trouble to write a detailed response to the posts about YouTube filtering. Jim’s full response can be seen in the comments on the first post. In summary, Jim quotes YouTube’s exact Ts&Cs and concludes that the terms of service “specifically prohibits the downloading, copying and storing of content” and all that Office 2010 and other similar applications do is simply embed a link to stream the video content directly from YouTube.

OK so far…

“Crucially, this means that to use embedded links or a service such as SafeShare to view YouTube access, a school or a local authority needs to provide unfiltered access to the entire YouTube site. It’s all or nothing – you cannot allow access to individual clips.”

Yes, I guess that’s true. But at that point I was thinking about the options to allow YouTube for teachers but not for learners. Jim anticipated this:

“This may be fine if you only want teachers to use YouTube to show clips to students, but means that independent learning using YouTube content is only possible if students have full access to the YouTube site.”

Hmm. I hadn’t really been thinking about it from the independent learner’s point of view…

Jim goes on to say that, most educational providers are “unwilling to take the risk of allowing open access to YouTube.” If access is allowed, there are issues with “inappropriate content being viewed and network bandwidth being totally wiped out by users (students and teachers) constantly streaming YouTube content, not all of it related to education.”

The differentiator and unique selling point for Media Filter therefore seems to be that it works “in conjunction with any existing web filter to allow specific YouTube clips to be categorised by age and subject to be viewed without allowing open access to the site.”

All very interesting and I think I’m slowly getting a bit better informed…