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Film Studies: Teaching with Streaming Media

Welcome × This research guide is designed to provide research help for courses and research related to film and media studies.

USING THE LIBRARY COLLECTION:

All films and videos in the libraries' collection are available for three types of use: educational, personal, or On-Campus Public Screening, regardless of where this takes place (e.g. class or online) or if it is screened by a professor.


Many films purchased by the library are licensed with Public Performance Rights for the life of the disc. Most of these films were purchased for educational use and so are primarily documentaries. Streaming services that are accessed using your Andrew ID are purchased by the library with Public Performance Rights. For example, all streaming materials available through Academic Video Online (AVON)American Music, and Kanopy are available to use in public performances on campus as long as no one is charged for admission. 

NOTE:  Professors can request individual titles be purchased on Kanopy for classes by completing the form when prompted. 

An alphabetical, printed listing of video holdings is available at the Video Collection desk. Printed listings by subject are available on request. If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, please ask us—we're happy to help!

SO WHAT IS "EDUCATIONAL USE"?

  1. If the screening is part of a teaching activity that is part of the curriculum for a course as outlined in the syllabus, it is "educational". 

  2. The viewers must be students who are registered for a course and the screening must NOT be open to the public

While educational use typically applies to face-to-face learning, there are statutes that accommodate distance learning and transmitting through a university server, under set conditions and requirements (see TEACH ACT which is codified in Title 17, the Copyright Act, section 110(2) of the US Code).  If any of these conditions and requirements are not met, you may need to obtain screening rights.

WHAT IS "PERSONAL USE"?

The screening is in a private space, like an apartment or a dorm room.  The screening is NOT open to the public, and no one is charged for admission.

IMPORTANT: Although classroom use would be non-commercial, it would not be designated as personal use.  This is how many licensing Terms of Service are able to prevent the screening of their content in a classroom.

ON-CAMPUS PUBLIC SCREENING 

You need permission to screen copyrighted work on campus. This type of screening also called a Public Performance Right (PPR), includes any non-classroom campus activities of 50 or more people such as a guest lecture or club activities. No admission may be charged for these events and no money can be made from advertising. Rights are not required for films that are in the Public Domain (see the Copyright, Fair Use, & Public Domain Box tab).

CAN I STREAM MOVIES/DOCUMENTARIES/TV FOR MY ONLINE CLASS?

You can stream some content and there are limitations for the type of content and context in which the content can be screened:

  • Streaming video can be made available to students of a course for the duration of the course/lesson and if the video is relevant to the syllabus and topic of instruction.
  • Fair Use principles and the TEACH Act provide guidance for "reasonable" streaming.  You can conduct a Fair Use Analysis and refer to the TEACH Act Checklist for additional assistance.

Materials of the proper type are:

  • Entire performances of nondramatic literary and musical works
  • Reasonable and limited parts of a dramatic literary, musical, or audiovisual work
  • Displays of other works, such as images, in amounts similar to typical displays in face-to-face teaching

 

CAN I STREAM VIDEOS FROM SUBSCRIPTION-BASED PLATFORMS, LIKE NETFLIX OR AMAZON PRIME FOR MY ONLINE CLASS?

As a general rule, most platforms forbid streaming subscription-based content and you should carefully read their Terms of Service before you do so.  Some services provide Educational Screening Rights for select titles.  Below are the Terms of Service for select providers:

 

HOW CAN I PLAY A STREAMING VIDEO IN A ZOOM CLASSROOM?

For a Zoom classroom - yes, it is instructional use, but it cannot be recorded. You also must follow the Copyright Fair-Use & TEACH Act guidelines mentioned above.

You can share your Zoom screen to the class. But there is a special setting you need to choose when sharing to allow the class to hear the audio. Here are the instructions. Sharing-Computer-Sound-During-Screen-Sharing

 

COPYRIGHT & PUBLIC DOMAIN

copyright.gov

Words to the wise: In general, it is best to assume that a work is protected under copyright.

 

The Public Domain

When the copyright has expired, the work may be used without copyright restriction.

 Any work published in the U.S. before 1923 is in the public domain and may be used freely.

Finding Public Domain films

There are many open access sources of film and streaming media.  The Internet Archive and the Open Library are two of the most comprehensive.

 

CREATIVE COMMONS 

There are many examples of content creators who explicitly license their work through Creative Commons, which places it in the Public Domain. You can find Creative Commons- licensed videos by searching for a topic on YouTube, however, if the creator didn't specify the work license, then the terms of service take precedent. You should always check the Terms of service (see The Rules of the Game tab).

Work Created by the US Government

Most of the works created by the federal government are not protected by copyright and are in the public domain. Some works commissioned by the federal government may have copyright protection. 

FAIR USE RESOURCES:

 

RESOURCES ON TEACHING WITH STREAMING MEDIA