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Films, DVDs and Videos: Using film streaming in teaching

Guidance on finding and using films in the library collections

Watching films online - streaming services


Streaming film/video is watching content in 'real time' via the internet, rather than downloading a copy of a file. Video streaming screen


Films from one of our streaming services can be shown in the classroom, embedded within ELE, or viewed by students at home or on a mobile device. A link to the film from the streaming service can be added to your reading list.


Two of the main services are Kanopy and BoB - see the boxes on this page for more information.


More guidance on copyright can be found in the Copyright LibGuide, where you will also find a Sway presentation on ‘Copyright and teaching online.’

Lecturers can show DVDs/films to their students by providing a live screening event. In doing so, they must ensure that they meet the following criteria:

1)      Screenings must be limited to teaching staff and students registered on a particular module only.

2)      Showing the film must be for the purposes of instruction.

3)      Screenings must be scheduled for a defined time or times (we would advise a maximum of two screenings per film, scheduled to reach students in different time zones where necessary).

4)      The platform used must be a closed loop, password-protected one, e.g. ELE or Teams.

5)      Only DVDs that have been purchased and are in the Library’s collections must be used, so that the DVD (and the copyright) has been originally acquired properly. Where a member of staff has purchased their own copy of a DVD that is held in the University Library, this can also be used.

6)      Students/staff need to be made aware that the film must not be recorded while it’s being streamed and must not be posted elsewhere on the internet.


Material should not be streamed outside these parameters without further advice. A quick take-down policy would apply in the event of a complaint from copyright owners. The piece of legislation that we would be relying upon to do the above is Section 34 of the CDPA, which relates to performing, playing or showing work in the course of activities of an educational establishment.

This will not permit making a copy of a DVD or format-shifting.

Short excerpts of DVDs/films can also be used for teaching under the ‘illustration for instruction’ exception outlined in Section 32 of the CDPA, as long as it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement and meets all of the ‘fair dealing’ criteria. In all cases, where content is available via a service that we subscribe to (e.g. Box of Broadcasts, Kanopy) that should be the preferred method of delivery.

Other online film and video services


Kanopy help pages 

Please see the Changes to Kanopy access tab for an update on how to access films on this platform.


BoB is an off-air recording and media archive service. This scheduling service allows University staff and students to record programmes which will be broadcast over the next seven days, as well as retrieving programmes from the last 30 days of recorded channels. BoB stores the recorded TV and radio programmes in the archive and holds them indefinitely for all users. 

The archive currently offers over 1 million TV and radio programmes covering all genres; that number is set to rise as more and more universities join BoB.  

With BoB you can record programmes, watch programmes from the archive, create clips, search for programmes coming up in the next seven days by title or keyword, compile your favourite shows into playlists and share with others, and embed links/clips into ELE.

BoB includes over 10 foreign language channels, including French, German and Italian. You can browse or search within the BoB archive to find content related to news or current affairs.

You can access the BoB help pages here. The service also offers some video tutorials.

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