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Streaming Videos: Collections and Guidelines

Great information on the Library's many streaming video packages & Course Reserve options!

Digital Licensing Types

Type A: Distributor hosts streaming files, creating web page portal for our access for specified purpose & period of time. A preferred type!

Type B: Distributor can host streaming files, or provide (sell) us streaming files which we host locally for specified purpose & period of time. We've had some problems streaming locally hosted files. Technical problems / delays may occur.

Type C: Distributor sells us streaming files which we host locally for specified purpose & period of time. We've had some problems streaming locally hosted files.

Type D: Distributor requires us to purchase physical copy (VHS or DVD) of title and charges additional fees for us to legally create streaming files from content and legally stream it for specified purpose & period of time. This model can be extremely costly and time-consuming. Expect delays.

Type E: Distributor sells us streaming licenses and permissions to reformat VHS or DVDs we purchase (or already own) from their catalogs.

Type F: Vendor sells library a subscription to a collection of video titles, packaged in an index-like database format. Users can browse, seach, play videos. Some packages support user customized creation of video clips and playlists, user annotations, etc. and provide on/off captioning. A preferred type!

Type G: An emerging trend is for film distributors to license other companies to stream their titles. Important distributors using this new model are California Newsreel, PBS, and the famed Criterion / Janus Collection, who have established recent partnerships with Films on Demand, Kanopy, and Alexander Street. (Since 2014-present)

Film Type Definitions

theatrical release - a feature film or movie that is released to show in theaters; often used as a descriptor to distinguish entertainment and "Hollywood" movies, international cinema, and similar feature-length films. May also refer to the period of time that a film is being shown in theaters. Many contemporary theatrical release films are subsequently released on DVD for purchase after they are no longer being shown in theaters.

documentary - a film that is usually factual and educational in nature, and produced to inform its audience about a specific topic. Documentaries feature real people in real life situations, as opposed to actors portraying fictional stories or situations. Documentaries may be produced to show on television, occasionally in theaters, or go direct to DVD. Depending on demand and other factors, documentaries may be available for purchase on DVD.

Instructors: Contact Course Reserve staff with any questions on titles from these distributors....

Licensed Film & Video Distributors

Here's a quick list of major distributors with whom we have worked. Each one handles streaming rights differently. See "Types" defined in left column. Don't see your distributor here? We've worked with a number of other distributors, including some very small companies. Ask us!

Distributors without Clearcut Licensing Models

A number of well-known video distributors have not yet published clear cut streaming rights information on their websites or ordering information. They may provide some streaming titles but do not seem yet to be widely publicizing that format and relevant acquisition / pricing information on their websites. Below are a few distributors that currently seem to fit this model. For that reason, acquiring streaming rights from these distributors may be time-consuming.

Your Librarian

Susan A. Vega García's picture
Susan A. Vega García
Head of Instruction
Associate Professor
140 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50011
(515) 294-4052