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Streaming Videos and Media

Copyright Guidelines

All media purchased by the Library will have the appropriate licenses for educational classroom use for Durham College students, staff and faculty members.

For complete information, see the Library's Copyright Guide.

Viewing films on campus

To view films on campus, the following conditions must be met:

Not an Infringing Copy

It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution or a person acting under its authority to screen a cinematographic work as long as:

  • the work is a non-infringing copy that has been legally obtained
  • the person responsible for the performance has no reasonable grounds to believe that it is an infringing copy
  • a digital lock was not circumvented to access the film
  • there isn’t a notice prohibiting educational use

Please note that video on demand services such as Netflix and iTunes do not allow works downloaded/rented to be screened outside of personal use

Location of Screening

The Copyright Act states that the screening of cinematographic works must be held on UOIT/Durham College premises for educational or training purposes.


The audience must consist of an audience primarily of students of the educational institution, instructors acting under the authority of the educational institution or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for the educational institution.

Entry Fee

All screenings of cinematographic works must be not for profit. Charging a fee for entry to screenings is prohibited.

These conditions follow provisions related to the organization of film screenings on campus according to Section 29.5 of the Copyright Act.

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Viewing YouTube videos in class

Videos available through the Internet, e.g. YouTube, may be shown to a class unless:

  • the work is protected by digital locks preventing their performance
  • a clearly visible notice prohibiting educational use is posted on the website or on the work itself
  • there is reason to believe that the work available on the Internet is in violation of the copyright owner's rights

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Viewing broadcasts

Television news programs or news commentaries may be copied and played in class under the Copyright Act,

Under News and Commentary section 29.6, the College, or a person acting under its authority, may make a single copy of a news or news commentary program (excluding a documentary) at the time of its broadcast, for the purposes of performing the copy for College students at a later time for educational or training purposes. The same section also allows the College, or a person acting under its authority, to perform the copy in public, in front of an audience consisting primarily of College students on the premises of the College for educational or training purposes. However, in order to qualify for this exception, the broadcast or stream must have been lawfully received. Content acquired through unauthorized streaming sites or illegally decoded satellite signals, for example, will not qualify for the exception and may attract liability. 

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Changing formats for accessibility

Using existing closed captioned media is encouraged. The cost of making a request to a vendor to close caption, or to modify a non-closed captioned DVD from a television series (e.g. CBC) can be very costly (often over $500) and time consuming (8-12 weeks). For more information, please contact Emily Tufts,  Associate University Librarian, Scholarly Resources via email or 905-721-2000 x2005.

For more assistance with searching, please contact your subject specialist librarian - see the Subject Librarians page or


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