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Rapidly Shifting Your In-Person Course to Online: Copyright Considerations

Multimedia viewing/listening

Showing an entire movie or film or musical work online does represent more of a copyright issue than playing it in class – but there may be options for your students to access it independently online. The University of Regina Library already has quite a bit of licensed streaming audio and video content which you are welcome to use in your online course. Remember you can still link to content or set up a electronic reading list to manage your course materials.


We may be able to purchase streaming access for additional media when available. Standard commercial streaming options like commonly subscribed to services like Netflix, Crave or Disney Plus that students may also subscribe to and can access using their own accounts may sometimes be the easiest option – though some students may not have access to those services. (For exclusive content, the commercial services may be the only option.) 

What can you do if you have a scheduled screening for a film that is not available online?

If you have a scheduled film screening and the film is not available digitally through one of our electronic databases, you may be able to conduct a virtual screening using the distance education exception in the Copyright Act (Section 30.01).

This exception is not widely used as it includes a variety of requirements, such as:

  • You must not break a technical protection measure (Section 41.1) when you make the copy. The easiest way to make a copy without breaking a TPM is to use screen capture software that enables the copying of DVD content after the content has been lawfully decrypted by a licensed computer DVD player.
  • You must delete the copy in the Learning Management System, or password protected location you posted the audiovisual material, within 30 days after course evaluations have been issued. 
  • You must clearly post that the copy is being made using this exception. For example: “You are receiving access to this teaching resource under s. 30.01 of the Copyright Act, for use in this class only. If you retain a copy, delete the copy 30 days after you have received the final evaluation for the course.” 

One way to meet the requirements of this section may be to live-stream the screening (accessible only to your students).  If you do make a recording, you will need to ensure that you meet the requirements above.