Films and videos

Use this guide to find films and videos at the library and online.

Can I show it?

Can I show a film in class? 

Yes, as long as it is a legal copy. You can use the library copy, or your own or a borrowed one. There is no longer the need to ensure a public performance license is in place.

Can I show YouTube videos? Or Netflix? 

If a video is freely available on the Web, then displaying it in class is acceptable. Pay-per-view sites terms of services generally grant you limited access for personal use. We would advise against using them in class.

Can I show a movie in a distance class? 

The Course Reserve Service team may be able to arrange for a physical copy of a film (e.g. DVD) to be digitized and made available for an online course via the Ares platform.  For more information, please contact

Films and videos from paid content platforms should not be streamed to students via Zoom, Adobe Connect, or any other videoconferencing software, as this would generally be in violation of copyright and/or applicable content licences.


Fair dealing and public domain

Fair dealing is an exception in the Copyright Act that allows you to make a copy of a small amount of a work. To determine if your use of a copyright-protected work is fair, use this decision tree.

Movies that are in the public domain are not subject to copyright restrictions. This includes movies where copyright has expired and films whose creator has waived copyright.

Movie night

You can show a movie providing that the four following conditions are met. If not, you have to buy the presentation rights from the distributor.

  1. The screening is done on the premises of the university;
  2. For educational or training purposes;
  3. Before an audience consisting primarily of students; 
  4. Not for profit.

Copyright advice

Questions about copyright and films? Contact the Copyright Office at: