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Film & Digital Media: Media

Streaming Video

During the COVID-19 crisis, through the generosity of many documentary and educational distributors, other films which the library already owns in DVD format may be made available in streaming format for free or reduced cost. Please consult with Susan about individual films.

Special note re: Netflix

Special note re: Netflix  - Individual streaming subscription services (e.g., Netflix and Amazon Prime) do not authorize instructors to stream content in the classroom setting. It does not matter whether it is for educational use; the Terms of Service for these individual subscription providers restrict use to personal use. With Netflix, in particular, there is a handful of only 10-15 films for which educational screening rights have been granted.  99+% of the time, Netflix titles are also not available for purchase on DVD, which causes great difficulty for educational institutions. 

Susan Albrecht can help determine whether and where films might be available to students online through personal streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, YouTube, GooglePlay, etc. We recommend the JustWatch service as a great resource.  Some streaming services also currently offer a period of free access ranging from one week to one month

Tips on Using Streaming Videos

Lilly Library can stream those complete films for which we have acquired permission or license. This process requires the library to look for the rights holder for each individual film and determine if permission for streaming can be granted or if a license is available for purchase. Please note that finding the rights holders for foreign films can be particularly difficult and time-consuming, and the cost for streaming rights in general may be prohibitive. We limit requests to films that are required viewing for a course. 

Currently, Wabash has access to a hand-picked collection of 100 streamed feature films through Swank Digital Campus. The content of this collection changes annually and is selected each August/September based upon faculty need and historical usage. If there are films which you would like to recommend for this collection, contact Susan Albrecht at albrechs@wabash.edu or 765-361-6216.

If streaming of a film cannot be arranged, an excellent alternative option is for instructors to place physical copies of video material on reserve at the Lilly Library Front Desk.  There are a variety of checkout period options available. The library has several viewing stations or instructors may opt to allow students to take materials out of the library. Please contact Susan Albrecht to make reserve requests at albrechs@wabash.edu or 765-361-6216. 

Also, streaming a clip or clips from a film may be a viable option for instructors. There are copyright laws that discuss the technical means for making copies of film and others that describe the rules governing the use of media for educational purposes. Section 1201 (a) (1) of the copyright law allows the decryption of copy protection of motion picture media (such as DVD, VHS, Blu-ray) that are lawfully made and acquired, for the purposes of creating short clips for criticism and study purposes for professors and media studies students. Talk to us about your interests and needs; we will work to help you accomplish your educational objective within fair use guidelines. Contact Susan Albrecht, albrechs@wabash.edu or 765-361-6216, or Aaron Elam in the Educational Technology Center, elama@wabash.edu or 765-361-6174.

Lilly Library is a founding member of PALNI, ALI, and The Oberlin Group


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301 W Wabash Avenue
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
(765) 361-6100