Below are options for using films in courses at Wichita State University. Each option describes the resources available and a brief explanation of relevant copyright principles. (adapted from Guide to Using Films in Courses, Georgetown University Library)
For more information on the application of Fair Use to the use of video and audio for teaching, see the Fair Use page in the University Libraries Copyright guide. For a checklist on applying Fair Use developed by Indiana University, click here.
1. Streaming video from licensed collections University Libraries has access to many streaming video collections and platforms that are licensed for instructional purposes and made available to faculty, staff, and students. These collections include Academic Video Online, Films on Demand, Kanopy, Swank Digital Campus and many subject-specific collections such as Dance Online: Dance in Video, Nursing Education in Video, Licensed videos are listed under the Title and Subject tabs on the first page of this guide. Any of these videos may be embedded or linked in Blackboard so that students can access the video from on and off campus. In terms of copyright, University Libraries has license agreements with these video providers to make these films available in streaming format for WSU faculty, staff, and students. These videos and films must be used for instructional purposes.
2. Streaming video made freely available on licensed sites Videos provided by some licensed services such as YouTube are freely available to users. Make sure the video is available through a legitimate source. These videos may be embedded or linked in Blackboard so students can access them on or off-campus without violation of copyright. An example are the Netflix documentaries such as Crib Camp: A Disability Revolution that have been made freely available in YouTube.
3. Streaming video from commercial sites (paid for by individual faculty and students)
Many Pay-Per-View services provide low-cost streaming options for streaming films and TV shows. These services include Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix. For example, the cost of renting a video on may vary between $1.99 and $3.99 while the cost of purchasing a video may range from $ 4.99 to $14.99. Such commercial sites license their content for personal use, not educational use. Faculty sometimes require that students pay for a film in this manner as they would a textbook. Faculty and students must use their own logons to access the film. It is generally considered unacceptable for a faculty member to stream a video from their own subscription or from an individually rented or purchased video from one of these services in a classroom. The content is licensed for personal use and usually the video can be easily obtained as on DVD or streaming version indicating there is still a high market value and demand.
However, there is one notable exception. Netflix, which only offers streaming through subscriptions, does allow for a one-time educational screening in a classroom of many of their documentaries by an account holder, e.g., an instructor. The session must be a one-time screening and not recorded during the viewing. A description of this option as well as how to check to see if a documentary or film qualifies for this one-time educational screening is found at https://help.netflix.com/en/node/57695. If streamed in the classroom, no recording can be made. It is likely that these documentaries could also be viewed in a Zoom session under Fair Use as long as it is a one-time synchronous viewing and not recorded.
4. Streaming individual videos with permission If you own the rights or have obtained the rights to use a video and have a digitized version of that video, the library will make an effort to upload it to the Alexander Street Press Media Hosting Service which provides a link or embed code that can be posted in Blackboard. As long as you have permission to stream the full work, there would be no copyright issue. An example of a film obtained in this way is Faces of Mass Incarceration (Community Solutions of El Paso, 2018).
5. Classroom viewing of DVDs Library DVDs can be checked out to instructors for face-to-face teaching in the classroom. Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act of 1976 permits instructors at nonprofit educational institutions to show entire films in face-to-face classroom teaching provided that the DVD was lawfully made.
If there is a DVD you would like to use in an online course, first check to see if the library already has a streaming version of the DVD by checking the online catalog or contacting your Subject Librarian. If a streaming version is not held by the library, check with your Subject Librarian about finding a freely available streaming version or one available for purchase.
If the library is unable to obtain a streaming version of a DVD, it may be possible that playing a legally purchased DVD (your personal property or checked out from the Library) on your computer and sharing your screen during a synchronous class on Zoom falls within Fair Use under certain conditions. Those conditions include not recording the session, only allowing registered students in the course to access the Zoom session, using only the portion necessary for your pedagogy, and providing instructor commentary and lecture during the course of the video to increase the fair use defense of this activity. (For more information on showing DVDs, see a library guide created by San Diego State University.)
Academic Video Online and Other Alexander Street Press Videos
Films on Demand
Swank Digital Campus
YouTube (free videos)