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Video and Media Resources

Changes to Kanopy

Rising costs necessitated changes in access to some Kanopy videos. 

Why? Kanopy billed the Library via a patron-driven acquisition (PDA) model—when a video accrued four 15-second “plays,” Kanopy charged the Library for a one-year license. For the calendar year 2018, Kanopy invoiced the Library $86,760 for streaming video use. This price is outrageous. As click counts grew and as Kanopy increased in popularity, the cost of the PDA model became unsustainable.

As a result, the Library has moved to mediated access for some Kanopy videos. Regularly requested Kanopy-exclusive videos (list at left) will renew automatically every year, but other Kanopy videos will require prospective viewers to request access via a form on the Kanopy video service site. Mediated access began May 6, 2019.

This form asks for your name, your email, whether you are librarian, academic, student or other, and your reason for watching the video.

With mediated access, you have to fill out a form (example to the right ⇒).

You will see this form for any video not already licensed. The form says that the film is not available at the library and asks you for the following information: your name; your email; whether you are a librarian, an academic, a student, or other; and the reason why you want to watch the video. Please press send to submit the form to UVa librarians for review. You will then soon receive an email response with more information.

Videos already licensed will appear ready to play.

During the work week, the Library strives to provide access to approved requests within 24 hours, but this time frame is not guaranteed. 

Fortunately, many popular Kanopy videos are available via other video subscription services at the Library. The Library will direct users to these films instead of Kanopy videos as necessary. For example, Films on Demand and Avalon carry highly used California Newsreel and Media Education Foundation videos like the Eyes on the Prize series and Killing Us Softly films.

As faculty and instructors foresee streaming video needs in their courses, they should notify the Library via course reserves services, via subject liaison, or through video collection librarian Leigh Rockey, lar4k@virginia.edu. The Library can best accommodate your curricular requests when given time to prepare.

Because Kanopy PDA costs have grown beyond the capabilities of the Library’s budget, the Library hopes that Kanopy users will now focus only on educational and research needs. Viewing for entertainment purposes is discouraged.

The Library has negotiated with Kanopy for other access models, such as subscription, but none of them are realistic in terms of cost. In the chart below, you can see Kanopy costs rising every semester.

This bar chart shows how the cost of Kanopy has gone up a lot since Fall 2014. Here are the costs by semester showing the increase: Fall 2014 $3,000, Spring 2015 $11,895, Fall 2015 $8,755, Spring 2016 $11,400, Fall 2016 $18,650, Spring 2017 $23,184, Fall 2017 $27,840, Spring 2018 $35,160, and Fall 2018 $51,600.

This bar chart shows how the cost of Kanopy has gone up a lot since Fall 2014. Here are the costs by semester showing the increase: Fall 2014 $3,000, Spring 2015 $11,895, Fall 2015 $8,755, Spring 2016 $11,400, Fall 2016 $18,650, Spring 2017 $23,184, Fall 2017 $27,840, Spring 2018 $35,160, and Fall 2018 $51,600.

FAQs

  • What is mediated access? It means that some films must be accessed with the assistance of Library staff. The user requests access to a film via a form that Kanopy immediately sends to librarians who then investigate the legitimacy of the request. If approved, the request is fulfilled and the user gains access to the film.
  • Why do we need to have mediated access? Kanopy offers two models of acquisition of videos: patron-driven and mediated. The patron-driven acquisitions model is based on how many times a video's play button gets clicked. Once a title has four clicks, Kanopy bills the Library. The Library used to participate in the patron-driven model, and as time went on and as Kanopy became more and more popular, the clicks piled up and cost the Library a lot of money. For the calendar year 2018, Kanopy invoiced the Library $86,760. It is because of this expense that the Library now mediates access to Kanopy videos--it will cost much less.
  • How long do I have to wait to see my video? During the work week, the Library strives to provide access to approved requests within 24 hours, but this time frame is not guaranteed. In some cases, when the title requested is available through other video databases, librarians will be able to fulfill the request within a few hours.
  • Will all videos in Kanopy have mediated access? No. Videos that have already been licensed will appear in Kanopy ready to play. Please see the list of films to the left above that will always be available without mediated access.
  • Can my request be turned down? Yes. Requests without evidence of educational use will be denied. The Library relies on the UVa community honor code for honest use of Kanopy videos for education and research purposes only. 
  • What other streaming film resources does the Library have? You can find hundreds of feature films on Swank and Feature Films for Education. Because these video services are paid via predetermined subscription, the Library encourages the UVa community to watch these films for both educational and entertainment purposes. Many highly used documentaries are found on Films on Demand, Avalon, and Alexander Street Press. Again, because these films are pre-paid, the Library encourages broad use. For a full list of streaming video resources, please see this section of the video libguide.