streaming video in protected LMS

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  • Hi, I recently posted this question to a regional list serv, but others seem to be struggling with the same thing. Here's my query:

    I'm looking for concrete strategies from others that are dealing with the exploding demand for streaming video by faculty and the copyright complications that come with the territory.  My issue revolves around copyright and fair use and, often, library resources. Here's an example...


    An instructor uses the film, Tough Guise 2, in his online course through Canvas. He's been using it for a number of years. When he first uploaded it to Canvas several years ago, the library owned the DVD and the film was not yet available in streaming format. Now, the college is migrating all instructional video content to a new host. All online videos that we've been hosting need to be re-evaluated for copyright concerns. Tough Guise 2 is now available in streaming format through Kanopy for a "modest" fee of around $200-250/year (keep in mind that this is only one of the four films he's requesting for one class). While the Classroom Exception Rule would allow the instructor to show the entire film in a f2f teaching environment, that's not the case with online teaching. The TEACH Act would dictate that if a streaming version is available, that option must be pursued instead of ripping/uploading the entire film from a DVD format (although I realize that a small portion of clips can be uploaded instead and/or permission sought to stream the entire film).


    I'm familiar with all of the pertinent copyright/fair use laws, as well as ARL's Code of Best Practices in Fair Use. However, I'm feeling stuck, probably like others, between how copyright laws differentiate between the protected, online teaching environment and that of f2f and how that plays into the library resources that we are having to buy, astronomically priced and beyond the library's budget sustainability. I'm sure that some libraries are partnering with eLearning in funding these resources (which is great) but that doesn't entirely address the core problem here.


    How are others dealing with this dilemma? Are you interpreting these laws as I am or differently, and if different, how do you articulate that your approach is in line with fair use?


    Thanks for your reply!

  • Hi, Here at Kent State, we do things in this order, with the blessing of our University Counsel and Library Administration:

    1 - Even if the instructor had been streaming the entirety of Tuff Guise 2 to their "KSUTube" account for years and years, if the instructor comes to Reserve Services for assistance, we would NOW see if we could license it through some means. We enter our request into an in-house developed acquisitions program we call Selection Manager. It's not perfect, but it mostly works. All Library staff can log into it to see what's going on with any request.

    2 - One of our serials/acquisitions personnel does the searching. If she can secure a license plus streaming, and it's reasonably priced, we buy it. Sometimes we get permission/license to stream, but we must stream it ourselves. We use Kaltura now, too. "KSUTube" is defunct (yes, we really had that). We've only turned down one streaming request in two years because the license was way overpriced, off-the-charts. In these cases, though, we ask that the instructor ask their department to share the cost (this is never happened) or ask that they find an alternative. Sometimes, we actually get a free-of-charge, perpetual streaming license, and this is when bells ring in the heavens! :-)

    3 - If we cannot license it, and the instructor really, truly needs the entire thing, we do a fair use analysis on it. We purchase a physical copy if we don't already own one. Then we stream it ourselves, keeping it password-protected with access only to students enrolled in that course for that semester. This does feel scary. However, we don't stream anything under fair use that we didn't license just because it was too expensive.

    4 - The next year, we repeat this process. In other words, if the instructor still needs it, we look to see if licensing is available where it wasn't previously. We may need to renew licenses on some things, if the license was only good for a year. 

    5 - If the instructor needs just a portion, we look to the TEACH Act.

    Faculty can of course, do their own thing (whatever that might be), and we would not know about it. When I talk to faculty, I discourage the use of YouTube if it's clear that someone ripped something illegally. Sometimes we get public performance licenses for departmental events. Our Student Accessibility Services department follows a similar process. We have a University-wide policy on the use of copyrighted materials.

    I hope this helps!


  • Yes, hearing about your process is very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoroughly. Much appreciated!

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