Like literary works, movies and television programs are also protected by copyright. If you are planning to show a cinematographic work on campus you are responsible for ensuring that your screening is compliant with copyright law.

If you require a video from the library’s collection, please make arrangements with Circulation Staff in advance to ensure that you have the video you need on the show date. If you would like to borrow a video through the library’s interlibrary loan service, we require a specific show date which must be stated when filling out the request form.

Your rights and responsibilities differ depending on if you are showing the film for educational or entertainment purposes:

Educational Use

Exceptions within the Canadian Copyright Act (Section 29.5) allow for an educational institution, or a person acting under its authority, to perform a film or other cinematographic work in the classroom for education or training purposes. The audiovisual work has to be shown on University premises, be a not-for-profit event, and have the majority of the audience be UNBC students, staff and faculty. It must be legally obtained and not an infringing copy, or the person responsible must have no reasonable grounds to believe that it is an infringing copy.

Entertainment Use

The above educational exceptions do not apply when showing films for entertainment purposes. Because of this, the library has opted into “Entertainment Use Rights” licences with Audio Cine and Criterion. This allows for broader use rights outside the classroom, including the showing of videos by student unions and for social events on campus.

The following limitations must be considered when showing a film for entertainment purposes:

  • The film must be covered by the Audio Cine or Criterion licences. Use the search bars on the company websites to see if your desired film is included.
  • The event must be free - no cost or cover charge. Showing films at charity fund-raisers is allowed, but only when the cost is purely by donation.
  • The licences only cover films that have been released for rental and home purchases; films still in theatrical release are not covered.
  • The primary audience of the event must be members of UNBC.
  • Any advertising for the event must be limited to media targeted at the University and its students and staff. Print advertising can only appear in campus media (e.g. a student newspaper) and not in general community newspapers.
  • For more information on Entertainment Use Rights licences, visit

YouTube Videos

You may perform a work available through YouTube or a similar service except under the following circumstances:

  • The work is protected by digital locks preventing its 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 is in violation of the copyright owner's rights.

Netflix and Other Streaming Services

Films and television programs available through Netflix and other password-protected online streaming services may not be shown for non-educational events without acquiring permissions to show the film from the service.

These streaming services have contractual agreements that consumers digitally sign which may limit the performing of some or all of their content to personal or home use only. Therefore, performance of these works in a classroom setting is prohibited. The terms of these agreements also prohibit instructors from sharing copies with students or on Blackboard. Fair dealing and educational exceptions do not supersede these agreements.