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Faculty & Staff

Streaming and Physical Media in your On-Campus or Online Course

Things to know about using Streaming or Physical Media in the classrooms:

  1. The new classroom technology is equipped with Digital Rights Management in the form of HDCP (high-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). 

    • To learn more about it visit this article.

    • Since this technology could cause you problems playing either streaming media or a DVD, you should verify that what you plan to show in class will work for both in person and zoom attendees before planning your entire class session around it.  

  2. You should NOT plan to use your personal streaming subscription (e.g. Hulu, Amazon, Netflix) to show streaming video content to your class.  You should NOT plan to rent a streaming movie and play it in class. 

    • To do either of these is a violation of the End User License Agreement (EULA) that you agreed to when you subscribed or rented that film.  

    • These license agreements are what you didn’t read as you scrolled past and clicked ‘Accept’ when you signed up for that service. 

    • These are actually legal contracts which override fair use and other exemptions to the use of copyrighted materials. EULAs for personal subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime restrict individual subscribers to private, non-commercial use only, explicitly prohibiting screening in classrooms or for public performances.

  3. To show streaming media to your in-person class, you should use library subscriptions, which have public performance rights built in to our license agreements. Some examples are Kanopy, Films on Demand, Alexander Street Press, etc. 

  4. Some streaming services do not play well with Zoom, specifically Kanopy. 

    • Due to copyright, Kanopy requires users to go through user authentication to access Kanopy films. Because screensharing a film over Zoom does not require individual users to log into Kanopy, Zoom participants will see a black screen instead of the film. 

    • Kanopy advises professors who would like to discuss a film over Zoom to share the link to the film and have students mute themselves, navigate to another tab of their browser, watch the selected clip, and then come back to the Zoom.

    • If you would like your students to watch select film clips, you can use the clips/playlist feature of Kanopy to create a playlist to share with your students.

    • Many films available on Kanopy are also available in Films on Demand, which can be streamed and shared on Zoom.  Please reach out to for assistance in locating streaming films that are compatible with Zoom. 

  5. Classrooms are NOT equipped with DVD players.  If you wish to play a DVD in the classrooms do the following:

    • The Library has portable DVD drives you can check out and plug into the classroom computers. 

    • DVDs will vary on the copyright protection that they have.  Please reach out to  They will help you test the media you wish to play in class beforehand.