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Guide to Using Films in Courses: Home

This guide lists services that support using films in courses at the University of Denver. Each option has a description of resources available and brief explanation of relevant copyright principles. Faculty will decide which option is most appropriate based on their pedagogical needs. The Office of Teaching and Learning and the Libraries Research Center can assist you in finding a film or video that meets fair use criteria and also meets your teaching needs. Many are available in DU CourseMedia.

Requests to place DVDs on reserve should be directed to Course Reserves. Please carefully review all the options below and our Media Conversion and Fair Use pages. Another helpful resource regarding use of copyrighted material in Canvas is available here.

1. Classroom Screening

Service: Library DVDs can be checked out to professors for viewing in face-to-face classroom teaching.

Copyright:  Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act of 1976 permits instructors at nonprofit educational institutions to show entire films in the course of face-to-face classroom teaching provided that the DVD was lawfully made.

2. Streaming Video – Licensed Collections

Service:  The Library has access to the following streaming video collections, and we are actively pursuing more.

Locations for Viewing:  You may place a link in your Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access.

Copyright:  The Libraries have license agreements with the database providers to make these films available in streaming format for University of Denver faculty, staff, and students.

 

 

3. Streaming Video – Licensed Free Sites

Service: Library staff will search to determine whether a particular film or episode is available on a licensed free site, such as a network websites, Hulu, or YouTube.

Copyright: These films and episodes are available in streaming format at no cost on licensed sites.

 

4. Streaming Video - Commercial Sites (Student pays)

Service: Libraries staff will notify you of low-cost streaming options for streaming films and TV episodes from commercial services, such as Amazon, iTunes, Google PlayHuluPlus, or Netflix. The cost to stream a video on Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play is usually $1.99 - $3.99. Basic subscriptions to Netflix or HuluPlus are $7.99 per month. (as of May 2015)

Copyright: These films and episodes are available in streaming format on licensed sites at a low cost to the student.

 

5. View a Video in the Library

Service: Individual students or small groups of students can check out videos and headphones from the Lending Desk and watch them in the Library on their laptops.

Locations for Viewing:

The Library has Group Study Rooms that can be reserved by students and faculty. These rooms are very popular and reservations should be made in advance.

Copyright: The Library purchases DVDs for the collection, and they may be loaned out for personal viewing under the first sale doctrine.

 

6. Stream Clips from Films or Episodes

Service: Many licensed databases provide ways of creating clips, as does and Course Media. Contact the Office of Teaching and Learning if you need assistance. 

Locations for Viewing: You may place a link in your Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access. 

Copyright: The TEACH Act permits streaming reasonable and limited portions of a video for educational purposes. In addition, streaming limited portions of a film or tv show could qualify as fair use based on an analysis of the four fair use factors

  • the purpose and character of the use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality used
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

 

7. Stream Entire Films or Episodes (With permission)

Service: If you own rights or have obtained rights to use a film, the Library will stream the film or video in its entirety. Some DVDs can be purchased with streaming rights, and those titles may also be streamed in their entirety. 

Locations for Viewing: You may place a link in your Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access. 

Copyright: In the three cases described above, you own the copyright or have permission or a license to stream the full work, so there would be no copyright issue.

 

8. Stream Entire Films or Episodes (Without permission)

Service: If rights to a film cannot be obtained through any of the methods listed above, in-library use is not practical, and showing clips will not meet the pedagogical needs of the faculty, a fair use evaluation for streaming the film in its entirety will be required. Our Media Conversion page can guide you in making the fair use determination. 

Locations for Viewing: You may place a link in your Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access. 

Copyright: There may be circumstances where a film or episode can be streamed in its entirety under the fair use doctrine. That determination has to be made on a case-by-case basis by weighing and balancing the four fair use factors.

"Guide to Using Films in Courses" by Georgetown University Library, used under CC BY-NC 4.0 / Library-specific information adapted for the University of Denver.