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Streaming Video and Audio: FAQs

A guide to selecting and using streaming video and audio resources available through the University at Buffalo Libraries.
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2024 10:05 AM

Q: How do I find out if the video I need for my class is streaming?

A: First, search the UB Libraries Catalog. The Libraries own the rights to stream thousands of titles. Next, search AVON, Kanopy, and Swank streaming services, or one of the specialized subject databases listed on this guide’s home page. The following two aggregate websites may also be helpful in locating videos: Reelgood and JustWatch. If these options fail, please fill out a Purchase Recommendation form and we will determine if educational streaming access is available for your title in question..

Q: Can I show a video from Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other commercial streaming service to my class?

A: Usually not. Many popular home streaming services (Amazon, AppleTV, Netflix) are restricted to personal use only. This will prohibit Fair Use in the classroom, as classroom use is beyond the limit of personal use. Please check your license agreement before showing any videos from your personal account. From Troy University, this article explains why using your personal subscription video services is governed by the license, or Terms of Use, you agreed to when you subscribed to the service.

The Libraries do not have accounts for these services. We may be able to locate the videos you need from other sources. If you do not find your video titles in our catalog or subscription databases, please fill out a Purchase Recommendation form.

Q: Can I post a YouTube link to Blackboard?

A: It is recommended that you verify the content has been uploaded to YouTube legally before doing so. This can be done by looking for rights and license statements accompanying the video, or by examining the YouTube user’s profile. While it’s easy to find content on YouTube, it is important to note that some may have been uploaded without the copyright owner's consent—and these can be taken down without notice.

Q: Can I share my screen with my class if I'm viewing a film from one of the Libraries' databases via Zoom?

A: Yes, to registered students only. However, please note that each distributor or database has different rules about sharing over a platform like Zoom. In some cases, the platform recognizes copyright restrictions and the film will not display through screen sharing. Some distributors do not allow it at all.

Q: Can I screen a DVD to my class over Zoom?

A: Yes, to registered students only BUT with limits as to portions of the DVD's content. From Penn State University Libraries, this "Play a DVD over Zoom" FAQ addresses your options for screening a DVD in your class that is now online due to COVID-19 closures.

Q: If a film was requested by a course instructor for use in a previous semester, will it still be available?

A: If we are currently within the one-year license term for the film, it will continue to be available until the end of the term. However, once the license term has expired, access would need to be requested again. Any course instructors who used a film via Kanopy and would like to ensure uninterrupted access and availability of the film should fill out the Purchase Recommendation form.