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Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Aug 27, 2020     Views: 1168


Please see the link below for a breakdown from lawyers on the nuances of this issue: 

[L]icensing has impacted many uses of modern e-media in the classroom. As we well know, streaming services have become the norm. No one “owns” anything in the licensed transaction, we are all just renting temporary access to the work. So our normal library-like powers are forbidden via the license. Netflix, for example, limits their service to “personal and non-commercial use only” and “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” We do work with great faculty and staff, and our students are fantastic, but they are certainly not our “household!” 

Additionally, a person subscribing to Netflix agrees “not to archive, download, reproduce, distribute, modify, display, perform, publish, license, create derivative works from, offer for sale, or use content and information contained on or obtained from…the service.” These terms are clearly attempting to restrict any educational use, including classroom use, library use, or fair use.

But let’s put these issues aside for the moment, could we even get an educational or library license for these materials that only appear on these streaming services? No.

Frustratingly, the streaming giants such as Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and others have refused to license their services to schools, libraries, or educational institutions in any capacity. This refusal has critically limited the supply of legally authorized film and videos available for use. Libraries, educators, and departments are having a hard time finding resources not connected to streaming platforms, making it difficult to educate in the way they would like

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