In order to help minimize spread of the coronavirus and protect our campus community, Cowles Library is adjusting our services, hours, and building access. Read more…

Kanopy Access Changes

Kanopy logoEffective February 1, 2020, Cowles Library will begin mediating requests for streaming films on the Kanopy platform, and priority will be given to films requested for course use. This is a change from the more direct click-and-play access model the library has used since adopting Kanopy in fall 2017.

The model will continue to allow click-and-play access to already-licensed films until their license expiration date, and will allow new licensing requests only for course-related films.

A Difficult Decision

Increasing costs of the service led to our decision to adopt this new model. Knowing how popular this service is with our faculty and students, we struggled with this decision. We understand that click-and-play access is more convenient than mediated requests, and we do not enjoy placing restrictions on popular resources. The service’s growing popularity, however, has nearly doubled our annual expenditure for Kanopy films in the last year.

Kanopy’s Pricing Model

Unlike familiar streaming video platforms like Netflix and Hulu, which use a flat-rate subscription fee, Kanopy’s business model is based on the number of views per title, and four views of any film results in a charge to Cowles Library of $150 for a one-year license. This model is, unfortunately, unsustainable for the library as Kanopy becomes more popular and annual costs become unpredictable.

Many other libraries that use Kanopy are struggling with this same issue, as this Film Quarterly article illustrates.

Requesting Films

  • If you have used a Kanopy film for a course and are concerned about the license expiration, contact the library at acquisitions@drake.edu.
  • If you find an unlicensed Kanopy film you would like to use for a course, complete the request form on the Kanopy website as early as possible. In the message area, please let us know when you intend to use the film. The request form looks like this:
Example of the Kanopy request form
  • If you intend to use a film for a course, but it does not need to be streamed (e.g., you’ll show it in class vs. having students watch it on their own), contact the library at acquisitions@drake.edu to see if we can find a DVD or Blu-ray version that may be less expensive.

Kanopy License Expirations

Here is a current list of Kanopy films the library has licensed, including the date the license expires. Click a column header to sort by that column.

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