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Syracuse University Libraries

Video Guide

A guide to identifying, locating, and viewing video collections.

Face-to-Face Classroom Use

The performance or display of video or film in a classroom where instruction takes place with enrolled students physically present and the film is related to the curricular goals of the course is generally allowable under copyright law. 

Face-to-face classroom use of streaming video:

Instructors may play streaming media from the Libraries' streaming media collections in a face-to-face class. The Libraries recommend that instructors link to the streaming video on their syllabus or within the course management system so students can find the video if they choose to watch it outside of the classroom. More help is available on the guide to Linking to SU Libraries' Online Resources

Face-to-face classroom use of physical format video:

Instructors may play physical format video, including Blu-ray, DVD, and VHS, from their own collection or the Libraries' collection using classroom video equipment in a face-to-face class.

Online Class Use

The copyright exemptions that allow for full length films to be shown in a face-to-face classroom do no usually apply to online classes. The Libraries recommend that instructors plan for students to watch them on their own. The Libraries recommend that instructors link to the streaming video on their syllabus or within the course management system using the guide to Linking to SU Libraries' Online Resources

Some possible exceptions where screening of the film or video may sometimes occur during online or hybrid courses might involve cases where:

Outside of Classroom Use

For academic or other events that are not within the scope of a class, the rights to use streaming media or physical film and video media varies by provider. Please email with the name of the film, the link to the streaming video, and the type of event to determine if the use is acceptable.

Public Performance Rights

Public performance rights or permission from the rights holder are often needed for films when shown outside of the classroom. There will likely be a charge for public performance rights, and any such fees are the responsibility of the event organizer. To obtain Public Performance Rights contact the film distributor or producer.

Syracuse University Libraries does not acquire public performance rights on behalf of the University community thought they are included in some physical and streaming videos. To inquire about specific titles, contact