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Streaming Video and media

General Information about films and documentaries available from WCU Libraries, as well as online open source, Pay-per-view, and educational use

Teaching with Streaming video

All films and videos in the libraries' collection are available for personal or educational use, regardless of where this takes place (an in-person class or online). Only some can be used for public viewing. 

  • Personal: the screening is in a private space such as an apartment or a dorm room, the screening is NOT open to the public, and no one is charged for admission.
  • Educational: the screening is part of a teaching activity that is a part of the curriculum for a class as outlined in the syllabus, the viewers are students registered for the course, and the screening is NOT open to the public.  
  • On-Campus Public Screening: Screening copyrighted work on campus for a club, guest lecture or a festival. This type of screening requires Public Performance Rights (PPR); this includes any non-classroom campus activities, no admission may be charged, and no money can be made from advertising. Only a hand full of our streaming or physical titles are available for such screening as it often requires additional payment and permissions. 

Some FAQs:

Q:Why are there so many services?

A: It's all about the money.  Currently companies are making the decision to build their own streaming platforms to keep more of their profit. Smaller publishers have chosen to sell the streaming rights directly to institutions like libraries for the same reason.  Although we are starting to see mergers such as Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox and Warner Media's bid for Discovery.  We'll just have to see how this plays out.

Q: Can't you just copy the DVD and upload it?

A: Unfortunately, without the purchase of streaming rights or a Digital Site License, that would be illegal under the U.S. copyright laws.  For more information see The Legal Stuff.

Q:Why is my streaming video so glitchy sometimes?

A:You might know that WiFi speeds can effect the quality of your streaming experience.  But you might also have problems if there are too many devices using the same router or if you are in an area with weak WiFi.  So, if you are using your phone to post on Instagram and your room mate is playing a game on their laptop, you might have trouble streaming videos on your tablet.  Older devices could also have slower processing speeds, which could lead to streaming problems.

Legal and other limitations

We do our best to get the films you request, but the library can't license every film.  Here are some caveats:

  • Not all films are available streaming - foreign and older titles may not have a streaming version available (at all or for our geographic region).
  • Some streaming films are only available as a single-viewer rental for private use - no academic use copy is available.
  • Many films are only licensed for a limited time in our collection - there is either no permanent access option or it is prohibitively expensive.
  • The Library doesn't have control of the titles on most databases - titles come and go as the publisher reviews content contracts with the film makers.
  • Remember when assigning an open-source film (on YouTube, Vimeo, Internet Archive or a publisher site) that it may be gone at any time - free content is very unstable.

Requesting a film for reserve

Adding a film to D2L starts with activating your course in D2L.

Once the course is set up you can request streaming videos to be added to the reserves section. Here are step-by-step instructions: 

You can then reach out to IMC to add the link to the reserves section for you. For more help contact :

Ainsley Hume
IMC Technician 

Linking to and embedding streaming video

Here are general instructions on embedding and linking streaming video in syllabi and assignments: 

Embedding links



Making clips

A lot of the platforms we subscribe to offer the ability to create relevant segments/clips and link to those if that serves better the purposes of a class than viewing the full film. Here are some video tutorials on how to do this!

Making clips in Alexander Street Video

Making clips in Kanopy:

Making clips in Films on Demand:


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