Can I show or stream videos or TV shows in class?


You may show a film, video, or other cinematographic work in class as long as the work is not an infringing copy, the film or work was legally obtained, and you do not circumvent a digital lock to access the film or work.

TV News Program

Under the Copyright Act, educational institutions (or those acting under their authority) may copy television news programs or news commentaries and play them in class.

YouTube videos (or other videos found on the Internet)

You may perform (play) a work available through the Internet (e.g. YouTube), except under the following circumstances:

  • The work is protected by a digital lock preventing their performance.
  • A clearly visible notice prohibiting educational use is posted on the website or on the work itself.
  • You have reason to believe that the work available on the Internet is in violation of the copyright owner’s rights.

Netflix and iTunes

The agreements for both iTunes and Netflix appear to specify personal use only. Therefore, you cannot show films from either of these services in your class.

Streaming Video Collections Available at RDP

RDP Library has purchased a number of streaming video collections (e.g. NFB and Films on Demand), which can be shown in class without seeking copyright permission.

Access these licensed collections through our subject guides or the library catalogue: OneSearch or the NEOS Catalogue.

In-Class Screening Checklist:

Ensure your screening takes place on the premises of Red Deer Polytechnic
Ensure the audience consists mainly of students
Ensure the screening is directly related to the curriculum
Ensure the copy you'll be screening is a legally acquired copy
Ensure that no admission is charged

Check our Copyright guide for suggestions on finding copyright-friendly images, videos, and music.

Non-Classroom Related Screening

If you would like to screen a film, video, or other cinematographic work for non-classroom related purposes, you will need to acquire public performance rights (PPR).

Canadian PPR for many feature films and documentaries are managed by Audio Cine Films or Criterion Pictures. If rights for your film are managed by either of these organizations, complete their online form to request a PPR quote. For other films, search online for the film's production company or PPR manager to request screening permission to screen.

For more information about obtaining public performance rights, please contact

This FAQ is adapted from Dalhousie Libraries Copyright Office (CC BY-SA 4.0) and the University of Lethbridge Library (CC BY 4.0), and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  • Last Updated Dec 08, 2021
  • Views 48
  • Answered By RDP Library

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