This document offers a variety of options for showing or assigning films for instruction. It is meant to be a suggestion, and not to limit possibilities for course resources. Faculty should make decisions about assigned materials first and foremost based on their professional judgment as educators about what is pedagogically sound and effective.
If streaming is your preferred option, please keep in mind that copyright laws and licensing agreements may limit what films can be streamed and through which means. Any films or clips deemed eligible to be hosted on KATIE must be limited only to students enrolled in the course and only available for the duration of the course.
It is legal to show a full length movie or portions of a movie during regular class time using a legally obtained copy (DVD) of the film. (See #7 below for information on live screenings outside of class time.)
The Library will consider adding additional streaming subscription services when appropriate. Contact your department’s liaison in the library to make a request.
Many popular feature films and documentaries are available for personal, individual streaming use on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Filmstruck, iTunes, and Hulu. Monthly subscriptions are available for many of these services at a relatively low cost, and in some cases free trials are available. It may be that the most convenient option for your students is to subscribe to one or more of these services for the duration of the course, especially in courses where several films will be required viewing outside of class.
Copyright laws govern the use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes as well as the technical means for legally making copies of films or other digital media. Section 1201 (a) (1) of the copyright law (and the current exemptions) allows the decryption of copy protection of motion picture media (such as DVD or Blu-ray) that are lawfully made and acquired, for the purposes of creating short clips for criticism and study purposes. Talk to us about your interests and needs; we will work to help you accomplish your educational objective within fair use guidelines. Please contact Freeda Brook ([email protected]) for copyright questions or the Digital Media Center for help creating video clips.
Films with the appropriate licensing may be streamed in full. This may include materials that you own the copyrights for, materials shared with a Create Commons license, or materials in the public domain. In general, this does not include Library- or instructor-owned DVDs. Please contact Freeda Brook ([email protected]) regarding the licensing or rights of the media you wish to use for your course.
If you have created a film, consider adding a Creative Commons license so that you and others can use the film in courses. Creative Commons Licenses are explained on the Library’s copyright page on Alternative Publishing Models. We are happy to consult with you about selecting the most appropriate license for your works.
Instructors may request that materials are placed on reserve in the Library. Students can view DVDs on computers in the Library computer labs or in group study rooms. The Library circulation desk also loans external DVD drives to connect to laptops or computers. Students can view VHS or DVD in the Digital Media Center. Please contact Eddy Atwell ([email protected]) to set up reserves for your course.
You can schedule screenings of a required film for your course outside your regular class time. Contact the Digital Media Center to schedule time in their screening room or set up another space on campus, such as Hovde Room, Valders 206, or Olin 102. Screenings of films as a part of your course curriculum should not be publicly advertised and should be limited to students enrolled in the course.
If you wish to screen a film for a wider audience or not for your course, see the Library’s copyright page on Public Performance.
In some situations it may be legal to make a streaming copy of a legally acquired film. Each use must be considered individually, and there are several factors involved in considerations:
More likely to be a fair use or be consistent with an educational limitation:
These guidelines have been adapted from the University of Michigan Libraries under a CC-BY license and adapted to meet the needs of Luther College.