Guide to Using Films in Courses

This guide lists eight services the Library offers to support using films in courses at Georgetown. Each option has a description of resources available through the Library and brief explanation of relevant copyright principles. Faculty will decide which option is most appropriate based on their pedagogical needs.

Requests to place DVDs on Reserve or to request streaming should be directed to Library Reserves.

1. Classroom Screening

Service

Library DVDs can be checked out to professors for viewing in face-to-face classroom teaching.

Locations for Viewing

The DVDs may be viewed in your classroom, a screening room, or you may reserve the Library’s Dubin classroom.

Copyright

Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act of 1976 permits instructors at nonprofit educational institutions to show entire films in the course of face-to-face classroom teaching provided that the DVD was lawfully made.

2. Streaming Video – Licensed Collections

Service

A complete list of our licensed streaming collections is available in our Film & Media Studies guide.

The Library also licenses individual films for streaming from Swank and Kanopy when available.

Locations for Viewing

Library staff will place a link in your course's Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access.

Copyright

The Library has license agreements with the database providers to make these films available in streaming format for Georgetown faculty, staff, and students.

3. Streaming Video – Licensed Free Sites

Service

Library staff will search to determine whether a particular film or episode is available on a licensed free site, such as a network website or YouTube.

Locations for Viewing

Library staff will place a link in your course's Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access.

Copyright

These films and episodes are available in streaming format at no cost on licensed sites.

4. Streaming Video - Commercial Sites (Student pays)

Service

Library staff will notify you of low-cost streaming options for streaming films and TV episodes from commercial services, such as Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, or Netflix. The cost to stream a film on Amazon, Google Play, and similar services is usually $1.99 - $4.99; films can be purchased online to allow for multiple viewings for prices generally ranging from $7.99 - $14.99. A basic subscription to Netflix is $8.99 per month, and Hulu is $5.99 per month. (as of October 2021)

Locations for Viewing

Library staff will place a link in your course's Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access.

Copyright: These films and episodes are available in streaming format on licensed sites at a low cost to the student.

5. View a Video in the Library

Service

Individual students or small groups of students can check out Course Reserve videos from the Circulation Desk and watch them in the Library.

Locations for Viewing

The Library has Group Study Rooms that can be reserved by students and faculty. These rooms are very popular and reservations should be made in advance.

    • Millennium Room (50" LCD display; seats 8-10 people)
    • Group Study Rooms (6 group study rooms on the second and fourth floors with 42” displays; each seats 6-8 people)

The Gelardin New Media Center on the Library’s First Floor has:

    • Multimedia CoLaboratory (large monitors and seating/tables for groups)
    • Gelardin New Media Center Open Computing Area (4 televisions with DVD/VHS players for viewing media)

All of the computers in the Library can play DVDs. Headphones and external DVD drives for laptops can be checked out at the Circulation Desk.

Copyright

The Library purchases DVDs for the collection, and they may be loaned out for personal viewing under the first sale doctrine (17 U.S.C. § 109(a)).

6. Stream Clips from Films or Episodes

Service

Library staff can assist you with creating and streaming clips from DVDs in our collection. Call 202-687-7607 or email reserves@georgetown.edu for more information.

Locations for Viewing

Library staff will place a link in your course's Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access.

Copyright

The TEACH Act (17 U.S.C. 110(2)) permits streaming reasonable and limited portions of a video for educational purposes. In addition, streaming limited portions of a film or tv show could qualify as fair use based on an analysis of the four fair use factors:

  • the purpose and character of the use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality used
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

7. Stream Entire Films or Episodes (With permission)

Service

If you own rights or have obtained rights to use a film, the Library will stream the film or video in its entirety. Some DVDs can be purchased with streaming rights, and those titles may also be streamed in their entirety.

Locations for Viewing

Library staff will place a link in your course's Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access.

Copyright

In the three cases described above, you own the copyright or have permission or a license to stream the full work, so there would be no copyright issue.

8. Stream Entire Films or Episodes (Without permission)

Service

If rights to a film cannot be obtained through any of the methods listed above, in-library use is not practical, and showing clips will not meet the pedagogical needs of the faculty, a fair use evaluation for streaming the film in its entirety will be required. Our Reformatting Media page can guide you in making the fair use determination.

Locations for Viewing

Library staff will place a link in your course's Canvas site so students will be able to view the film from any location with Internet access.

Copyright

There may be circumstances where a film or episode can be streamed in its entirety under the fair use doctrine. That determination has to be made on a case-by-case basis by weighing and balancing the four fair use factors.