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Streaming Video and Audio: DVDs

A guide to selecting and using streaming video and audio resources available through the University at Buffalo Libraries.
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2022 3:00 PM

UB Libraries DVD Collection

The UB Libraries own thousands of available DVD titles. While DVDs may not be as popular a medium as streaming for video, they are still a good option for on-site group instruction, or as a supplement to online streaming. It is a good idea to be mindful of copyright restrictions when showing DVDs to a group outside of a classroom setting. Public Performance Rights will apply; please see the copyright section of this guide.

Always check the Libraries’ catalog for the video title you are interested in using. If you need help using the catalog, please check our Search Tips: Getting Started webpage. DVDs may be borrowed for the same loan period as books and may be requested through the Libraries’ Delivery + service.

UB Faculty only may request that clips be compiled from DVDs for classroom use. Please contact multimedia staff to make an appointment.  Conversion of VHS to DVD or streaming format must be accompanied by written copyright permission from the copyright holder.

Screen sharing a DVD may favor fair use under the following conditions:

  • Using a legally purchased DVD (your personal property or checked out from the Library),
  • Only allow registered students in the course to access the Zoom session.
  • Use for synchronous instruction only. Do not record the session.  
  • Distribute the link via Blackboard for example, not on the open web.
  • Use only the portion necessary to support your pedagogy.
  • Instructor commentary greatly increases the fair use defense of this activity—show a portion of the film, then lecture and discuss, then show more. (San Diego State University Library)

For best results, you should be screening the DVD from a built-in DVD drive using the VLC Media Player. Some issues have arisen attempting to screen DVDs from remote players, including blocking DVDs from playing because of digital rights management tools embedded on the disk. For this reason, it is recommended that you test out streaming DVDs directly from your computer with your students before considering this option.