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Faculty Help: Copyright: Showing Films in Zoom and/or Canvas

Streaming Films Online

The simplest way to legally share videos with students is to provide them with links to freely-available streaming videos from library databases, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. When this isn't possible, sharing your screen as you stream or play a video is an option.

Checklist for showing films online:

If you have a legally purchased DVD (your personal property or checked out from the Library), playing the DVD on your computer and sharing your screen via Zoom falls within copyright Fair Use under the following conditions:

1. Don't record the session
2. Only allow registered students in the course to access the Zoom session.  Distribute the link via Canvas for example, not on the open web.
3. DVDs should work with screen sharing.
4. Use only the portion necessary to support your pedagogy (don't show the whole thing unless you have to).
5. Instructor commentary greatly increases the Fair Use defense of this activity - show a portion of the film, then lecture and discuss, then show more.

From:  San Diego State University Library 

It is possible to get permission and performance rights, but the process is usually time consuming and costly.

General licensing does not allow:

  • Sharing films via a streaming service (Netflix, Apple TV, etc)
  • Creating a copy of a DVD and posting it to an asynchronous class

Locating Films



Showing Films in Zoom or Canvas

For a detailed article about showing films in an electronic environment, visit this article for an easy to understand and detailed article about showing film in class.

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