Kanopy Licensing Change

SMU Libraries are taking measures to reduce expenditures on films viewed on the Kanopy Streaming Service platform.  This action is in response to quickly-escalating costs for campus use of these materials.  Kanopy operates on a patron-driven acquisition (PDA) model.  When there are three separate viewings of 30 seconds or more, a 1-year license to the film is automatically purchased, at a cost of $120.  If our current expenditures are not contained, the Libraries’ ability to support SMU’s priorities will begin to suffer.  The Libraries are committed to building support for all areas of the curriculum, and we prioritize doing so through methods that involve permanent acquisition of the titles desired, not through costly rentals.

What does this mean for me?  Beginning on Monday, Mar. 25, we will transition Kanopy from an unmediated user experience to a mediated one.  This means that films for which we have 1-year licenses will still be available for immediate viewing.  Films we have not yet licensed will not be immediately accessible.  Library users will need to fill out a request form on the Kanopy site, which will be sent to library staff for review.  We plan to use the following guidelines when reviewing requests:

  1. The film must be required (not optional) viewing for a course.
  2. The request must come from a faculty member/course instructor.

If these conditions are not met, library staff will work with you to identify a way to find the materials you need.

What is the library doing to provide alternate access to films?  We will make efforts to help you find what you need on one of our other streaming platforms, Films on Demand (http://proxy.libraries.smu.edu/login?url=http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=11297) and Digital Campus (http://proxy.libraries.smu.edu/login?url=https://digitalcampus.swankmp.net/smu311418).  We will also look to reallocate the funds we had been spending on Kanopy toward a new streaming video resource with a more sustainable funding model.  Some of the resources under consideration are:

Docuseek2: https://docuseek2.com/

Academic Video Online: https://alexanderstreet.com/products/academic-video-online

Should we decide to run a trial of these resources, we will invite feedback from the SMU community.  The Libraries also acquire physical copies of media that are likely to be used in multiple courses over time.  Streaming video access is convenient, but producers regularly decide stop offering films for license through streaming channels.  This leaves us unable to support courses that are offered regularly.

Questions?  Please let us know – we are happy to help!  Contact your subject librarian (https://www.smu.edu/libraries/librarians) or Sarah Haight Sanabria, Head of Collections & Technical Services (shaight@smu.edu).