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Important changes start Nov. 1 for Kanopy video streaming

October 4, 2019

Starting Nov. 1, 2019, important changes are coming to how the streaming service Kanopy will be accessed through VCU Libraries. Please share this update with faculty colleagues, as preparation will be needed to plan for course assignments and instruction.

Plan for Nov. 1 changes to Kanopy at VCU Libraries

The steeply increasing cost to provide unlimited access to Kanopy – a streaming service of instructional as well as entertainment video – makes it necessary for VCU Libraries to shift access for parts of Kanopy.

Effective Nov. 1, the "Movies," "TV Series Package" and "Great Courses" categories will no longer be available on an unlimited basis. VCU faculty will still be able to select from the full catalogue of films for courses, including these categories, but unlimited access for viewings not related to course assignment and curriculum needs will not be available. A number of titles in "Movies" overlap with other Kanopy categories, such as the "Criterion Collection" category. These other categories will remain unlimited for the time being, and will still be immediately available.

The reason for this change is rising costs. The cost for access to Kanopy is based on the number of views per title. Titles that have entertainment value, such as feature films and television series, are responsible for the most views and the greatest costs to VCU, but often are not related to course content and instruction. The rising cost of unlimited Kanopy access, which allows unrestricted viewings of such titles, is not financially sustainable. Academic libraries across the country have been making changes to Kanopy access because of these rising costs. 

Make request two weeks in advance of need

After Nov. 1, course instructors must request access in advance for materials in the "Movies," "TV Series Package" and "Great Courses" categories. A link to request approval will appear under titles from these categories in Kanopy. VCU Libraries will approve faculty requests for video content from these categories that are course-related. Requests must be tied to course instruction. Student requests will not be approved. Requests must originate from course instructors.

It will be crucial to submit requests two weeks before the period of course instruction and assignments, so that VCU Libraries – and Kanopy  have time to activate access. Requests submitted immediately prior to the point of need may not be available in time. Once approved, the titles will be available for course use for up to one year. 

Non-course related requests for Kanopy titles will not be approved. It may also prove necessary – given the rising cost of Kanopy – to make further changes to access in the coming academic year. VCU Libraries maintains an extensive DVD collection of films and documentaries across academic disciplines for instruction, and new purchases are added each year in this format. The Collections Analysis and Investment Department of VCU Libraries will be happy to assist with your requests for DVD acquisitions for your courses or contact a collections librarian.


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