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Streaming Video

This guide provides resources for finding and using streaming video material, from both the University Library and around the web.

Video Purchase Recommendations

Do you have a video recommendation for the Library? Submit a Video Request that we may consider. Note that we cannot add any titles to Swank or add titles that are exclusively on Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, etc. Our priority is to purchase streaming content and while we can purchase DVDs and other physical media, we are unable to digitize our physical media.

Where is a title available to stream?

Sharing videos with students

The best option to share video is to provide permalinks to your students in Canvas. If you are showing a video that is not available to stream from the library (such as Hulu, Netflix, etc.) then we recommend using KastKast allows a group of people to watch together and only requires one login. Note that you will need to have a pro account, as the free version of Kast now only supports YouTube.

If you use Zoom to share video (streaming or DVD/Blu Ray), the quality will vary, but you can follow Zoom's guidelines.

Public Performance Rights (PPR)

What are PPR?

Public Performance Rights (PPR) are the legal rights to publicly show a film. While copyright law makes an exception for showing films in the classroom, showing them for a public audience, with or without an admission charge, may be a violation of copyright.

When are PPR needed?

PPR are required for:

  • Screenings open to the public
  • Screenings in a public space where access is not restricted to registered students in a course
  • Screenings for a class, but inviting others (non-registered students to the class) to attend

PPR are not required for:

  • Showing a film in the classroom (by students and instructors) as part of face-to-face teaching activities

Do the films in the University Library include PPR?

Some have PPR included. If there is a film title you are interested in finding out if the library’s copy has PPR, you may contact Chris Bulock at the University Library.

Embed Video into Canvas

Have you found a video that you would like to have your students watch in Canvas? See the Library’s Embed or Stream Video page for information on streaming and embedding from CSUN video databases.


Q: Can I show a DVD in class that I borrowed from the Library?
A: Yes! Section 110(1) of US Copyright law grants a specific exemption for the showing of a movie by instructors within a face-to-face class, provided that the movie has an instructional purpose related to the course and it's only being shown to students enrolled in the course.

Q: Can the library add captions to a video for me?
The library does not provide captioning services, however, campus units such as NCOD (National Center on Deafness) do. Visit the Universal Design Center's Captioning page for more information regarding captioning resources and services.

Q: Can I show my class a film via my personal streaming account (i.e. Netflix, Amazon)?
A: It depends - this may be a violation of your contract with the content provider. Services such as these are often restricted to personal and non-commercial use only, so double-check your license agreement before proceeding.

Q: I'm teaching an online-only course, how can I show a film to my class?
A: Submit a Video Request/Reserve Form to see if the library may purchase a streaming license. Instructors may also ask students to purchase the film via a subscription service such as Netflix or Amazon.

Q: Can the library transfer a VHS to a DVD to streaming for me?
A: No. Copyright law doesn't allow the transfer of formats without permission of the copyright holder, and the library does not offer reformatting services.

Q: There's a YouTube video I want my students to watch, can I post a link to it in Canvas?
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.

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