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Copyright for Faculty: Streaming Films

Streaming Films for Educational Purposes

While there have been no clear legal judgments on the permissibility under copyright law of streaming films from course websites, these steps will strengthen your case for fair use:

  1. Start with a legally acquired copy of the film.
  2. Upload the film to Berry's cloud-based streaming service, MediaSpace (Kaltura).
  3. Add the film on your VikingWeb course page, which limits access to those enrolled in the course. See Kaltura Help for instructions on adding media to a course.
  4. Make viewing the film a requirement and clearly state the requirement on your syllabus.
  5. Include information on your syllabus that demonstrates that the film is integral to the class (background readings, study questions, commentary, etc.).
  6. Remove the film at the end of the semester by launching the Media Gallery and clicking on the plus symbol in the lower right corner of the item to expose the Remove button.

Netflix in the Classroom

In general, Netflix steaming video or DVDs cannot be used in the classroom because Netflix subscribers are bound by their Terms of Use, which explicitly state that viewing is for is for “personal” use only and “You agree not to use the service for public performances.” So, even though there might be a classroom exception in copyright law, the license (and your agreement to it) will prevail over the law.

Netflix does make a selected number of original educational documentaries available for one-time educational screenings. To find out which titles are available for educational screenings, go to the "All Alphabetical"  section of Netflix Originals and look at the full entry for the film you are interested in. If the film is available for educational screening, the Grant of Permission for Educational Screenings will be right on the listing (see Audrie & Daisy for an example). Permission to screen the film for educational use stipulates that the film must be accessed via the Netflix service, and may be done one time only. Because the one-time educational screenings are just that, one-time, there is no way to make the film available on demand.

See What's Already Available in Streaming Video

Media Digitization

The Library Computer Lab offers digitization services for formats such as audio and video, within the bounds of fair use, and will assist instructors with posting on course pages. Bring completed form and media to the lab service desk.