Kanopy Licensing Temporarily Restricted

To accommodate the recent reduction to the University Libraries’ budget, we have had to suspend automatic access to the streaming film content on Kanopy. Access during July and August will be restricted in an effort to preserve as much access to licenses during the academic year as possible. We anticipate that automatic access to content will resume in mid-August but, depending on the rate of use, we might have to suspend automatic access again during the fiscal year.

What is Kanopy?

Kanopy is a large library of streaming videos covering a broad range of subjects in the arts and humanities, social sciences, education, business, film and theatre. It includes documentaries, classic and independent films from major distributors such as PBS, BBC, Criterion, and the Media Education Foundation.

How does it work?

Unlike many personal streaming subscription services, like Netflix, the films in Kanopy are available to license but are not necessarily already owned by the Wright State University Libraries. A license for streaming rights is purchased automatically on the fourth time a film is viewed for more than 30 seconds. Each license costs $150 and lasts for one year.

Budget implications:

With the 20% cut to our materials budget, we have had to cap the amount available for licensing content through Kanopy at $30,000 per fiscal year, or 200 films licensed per year. Once we reach the $30,000 limit, we will be unable to license new content. Films that have existing licenses will continue to be available for the length of their license.

A message will appear indicating when access is limited to existing licenses.

Instructors who would like to show a film for instructional purposes should contact their subject librarian.

How you can help us control costs and maintain access to all Kanopy has to offer:

  • Inquire whether a film already has a license and, if so, what the license expiration date is. The licenses are based on when the purchase was initiated, so each will have a different date. If you plan to use a film for class, particularly at the end of spring semester (i.e., near the end of the fiscal year), make sure the license will still be valid.
  • If you don’t see a film in Kanopy that you would like to show for academic purposes, it is possible that it will be available during the academic year. Contact your subject librarian to determine if access will be available through Kanopy during the academic year.
  • Limit options offered to students for an assignment. Every film that is suggested has the potential to incur another $150 license purchase.
  • If you are previewing films for a class, watch each film or read the transcript in one sitting rather than coming back to it repeatedly. Returning to the same film can trigger a purchase regardless of whether you use it in your class.
  • Please consider alternatives for personal entertainment viewing. We belong to the Search Ohio consortium, which provides access to many public libraries’ collections, including feature film DVDs. If you’d like assistance on how to request items from Search Ohio, please contact the Ask a Librarian service or call the Information Desk directly at 937.775.2925.
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