Streaming/Online Video Acquisition Policy

March 2019

Can Barber Library get me a Netflix (or Amazon Prime, etc.) video to show to my student group or to my class?

Despite more than a decade of strong interest from the library community, popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime do not provide institutional subscriptions. All titles licensed by Netflix, for example, are intended for personal consumption only, and institutional accounts violate the service's Terms of Use. (See: Academic Libraries Add Netflix Subscriptions.) Therefore, Barber Library cannot procure streaming videos through these services. 

What if I want to use my own Netflix account to show a video to a group or class?

When signing up for streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, you agree to a membership contract that may supersede copyright exceptions under Fair Use or the TEACH Act.

If you want students in your class to experience a streaming video, it might be best to ask students to set up their own Netflix or Amazon Prime accounts in order to view a film outside of class.

In some cases, instructors have been able to call Netflix and obtain verbal permission to show a video to a group or class. Instructors will have to make that call. See: Can I show Netflix movies in my classroom?

Netflix also allows for certain documentaries to be shown in the classroom. See: Educational Screenings of Documentaries 

What do you have in terms of streaming video?

You might be able to locate a video on your area of interest using one of Barber Library's subscription streaming video services.

These three services automatically provide public performance rights for each item in their collections.

In addition, we can occasionally locate and purchase a title from a streaming video service that we don’t currently have in our collection. Fill out the Non-Print Purchase Request form if you want us to investigate this option. 

I'm still not finding what I want. Any other options?

We might be able to purchase the film you want in DVD format. Fill out the Non-Print Purchase Request form if you want us to investigate this option. 

You may be able to request a copy of the film through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

DVDs will be subject to Public Performance Rights if not intended for instructional use.

What about Public Performance Rights?

The three subscription streaming video services listed above include Public Performance Rights (PPRs). Most video content beyond our three streaming collections is subject to copyright law and requires PPRs to be shown outside of an instructional context (e.g., a student club film showing or community event).

Williams College has a great flow chart to help you determine if the use you have in mind requires PPRs in their Public Performance Rights guide.

For more information, see our Public Performance Rights Policy.