New Guidelines for Using Film in Courses


In recent years, the Digital Media Center has seen an increase in film conversion requests. Library and ITS staff reviewed current copyright law and concluded that copying DVDs for streaming online is not permitted. In Fall 2016 the Dean authorized the formation of a task force to develop a set of guidelines for instructors.

Task Force Process

The Task Force consisted of ITS staff, Library staff, and faculty from all three divisions who have used streaming films in their courses. The group reviewed relevant portions of copyright law and case law, surveyed policies at other colleges and universities, and examined available streaming film services. They also considered Luther’s resource needs and limitations, including pedagogy and curriculum; accessibility and convenience; staff time; and cost and purchasing models.

Summary of Relevant Policies

Digital Media Center

  • Will not support copying of films for streaming
  • Require Copyright Declaration form for media conversion (implemented Fall 2016)
  • Support film screenings for courses in Hovde Room, Valders 206, or Olin 102 (see Guidelines for more information)


  • Support streaming film options through Kanopy and Digital Theatre Plus
  • Purchase films in DVD or other format for permanent acquisition
  • Continue to support physical course reserves for DVDs


To help instructors navigate these new policies, the Task Force put together a set of Guidelines for Using Film in Courses ( These Guidelines are available on the Luther College website under the Copyright pages, and are linked from the Digital Media Center pages as well. They are adapted from the University of Michigan under a CC-BY license.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns about these changes, please contact Freeda Brook ([email protected]).