Protecting Course Content on Udemy: The Free Preview Feature

We value the time, effort, and passion that instructors devote to creating a course. We also want to ensure that students purchase the courses that best fit their goals and preferences. Students use a number of ways to determine whether a specific course is a good fit, including examining the Curriculum, looking at the Course Goals, reading reviews, and utilizing the Free Preview feature, which allows students to view any 5 minutes of any course.

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals have misused this tool to download the entire course and post it on other sites. That’s why beginning today, we are modifying the Free Preview feature to allow students to only preview instructor-selected lectures.  

What does this mean for prospective students?

Students will be able to view the pre-selected lectures in the full course taking experience, including the full-bleed video and speed controls. Certain features such as Questions and Bookmarks are also viewable although these students will not be able to engage with other students or the instructor in the course. Prospective students will no longer have access to the entire course for 5 minutes, but rather an instructor selected portion of the course for 10 minutes.

What does this mean for instructors?

Instructors must choose a minimum of 10 minutes of video content that can be previewed by prospective students; this must include the first lecture of the course. Instructions for enabling additional preview lectures can be found here. By April 11, if the length of video lectures available for preview is under 10 minutes, we will automatically enable Free Preview for the first 10 minutes of your course such that you meet the minimum requirement.  

We’re excited to make this step – one of many – to better protect course content on Udemy.  If you have any questions, please reach out to instructorsupport@udemy.com.  

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