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Streaming Films

This guide provides information about the Bentley Library's streaming film databases

Streaming Films

Welcome to the Bentley Library's Streaming Films Guide. The Bentley Library provides access to a large and increasing number of streaming film titles, including contemporary and classic feature films, award-winning documentaries, instructional videos, news broadcasts, and presentations.

These videos are available through the following databases:

Click through the tabs on this guide to learn more about each of these resources.

Bentley Library Streaming Film Request Policy

Bentley Library provides access to streaming film in fulfillment of our mission to support the curriculum while complying with U.S. copyright law and fair use guidelines

The library subscribes to the open collections of Academic Video Online and Films on Demand streaming services, which provide access to tens of thousands of streaming films. We urge faculty to search these databases for films related to course content before placing a request for licensing from other vendors.

The library has a limited budget per semester to purchase licensing for streaming films that are available from our mediated platforms, Kanopy and Swank Digital Campus. It currently costs between $120 and $200 to license one film for one year from either of these vendors. Faculty who require access to a film for more than one year must submit a request each request cycle. Requests should be submitted as early as possible to ensure uninterrupted access. 

Before requesting that the library purchase licensing, please ensure that your request meets the following criteria:

  • The film or films are required viewing for an entire class and serve a specified pedagogical purpose
  • Links to films must be placed on Brightspace as course reserves

Faculty should request licensing for streaming films by using the "Suggest a Purchase" form on the library's website. Streaming films are purchased twice a year (July and December) on a first-come, first-served basis until the semester's budget is expended. Streaming films will be purchased through approved library vendors that offer institutional licensing and meet our technical requirements. Certain licensing, technical, and infrastructure restrictions prohibit the library from purchasing streaming rights for:

  • Films available on services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon, and others that do not provide institutional licensing
  • Films offered only through independent filmmakers

Additionally, the library cannot place freely-available videos from streaming platforms such as YouTube, Vudu, and Tubi on reserve as these platforms may remove content at any time without providing notice to users. Furthermore, videos hosted on YouTube and other user-driven streaming platforms may have been uploaded outside of copyright compliance. 

The library may decline a request if the film is already available in DVD format at the library and is to be used in a synchronous teaching environment. It is permissible under copyright law for students to view a film in class or during a scheduled in-person screening.


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