Can I show Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, or Amazon Prime, etc. videos in my classroom?

There may be times when a faculty member wishes to show a film or documentary in class that is housed on a 3rd party streaming site like Netflix, Hulu, ESPN or Amazon Prime. As 3rd party sites offer more original/exclusive content, the terms and conditions of fair use blur. This information will serve as a starting point to understanding usage restrictions in an effort to comply with copyright laws and licensing terms.

Keep in mind that 3rd party streaming account licenses overrule copyright exemptions. For example, showing your personal DVD during class is covered by a specific copyright exemption (Section 110), and showing clips can be covered by fair use (Section 107). However, streaming videos from personal subscription vendors in your classroom when the license prohibits such viewings - there is no copyright exemption for that, leading to a problematic situation.


Also note - Troy University does not obtain institutional accounts with the 3rd party streaming services listed below. 


Request must be made via a Helpdesk Ticket that require the following information:

1.  Submit a request to your division Dean asking for approval to stream using Amazon Prime for a specific date & time via Email.

2.  Once that approval is given via email, you can create a new Helpdesk ticket asking for access to Amazon-Prime Video, what date and time it is scheduled for, and what computer it will be used at including the computer name or IP address of the presentation/podium computer only.  Uploading the approval email is required when submitting this ticket.

     For Windows 10 Computers:
     1.  Click on the Start button.
     2.  In the search box, type Computer.
     3.  Right click on This PC within the search results and select Properties.
     4.  Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings you will find the computer name listed.

     Note:  On the View basic information about your computer page, see the Full computer name under the section Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings  Laptops on WiFi will not be allowed at this time.

3,  We do require 48 hours prior to the event notification to get all of the settings in place.





Netflix has made provisions for educational use of "select" Netflix Original Documentaries. This does not include the entire Netflix database. Additionally, when agreeing to Netflix Terms and Conditions upon account creation, specifications state that the "service and any content viewed through the service is for your personal and non-commercial use only."
The instructions below should be used with your personal account information. To determine if a documentary you wish to stream in a classroom setting is included, complete the following steps:

  1. Navigate to this "All Alphabetical" listing page.
  2. Locate and click the title of the film/documentary you wish to view from the list. 
  3. If an educational screening Grant of Permission is included, you will see it stated on the description page for the film.
  4. The Grant of Permission entitles a one-time educational screening of permitted documentaries. 
    1. You cannot hold screenings of the same documentary several times in one day or one week or one semester.
    2. You can show a documentary once a semester over multiple semesters.



When agreeing to Hulu Terms and Conditions upon account creation, specifications state that "using the services, including accessing and viewing the Content on a streaming-only basis, [is for] personal, non-commercial purposes." 
Hulu has not made provisions for educational screenings of its content. While classroom use would be non-commercial, it would not be considered personal use. Streaming Hulu content in a classroom setting would be a direct violation of licensing terms (section 3.2).

Amazon Prime 
When agreeing to Amazon Prime Video Terms and Conditions upon account creation, specifications state that "Amazon grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, limited license, during the applicable Viewing Period, to access and view the Digital Content in accordance with the Usage Rules, for personal, non-commercial, private use." 
Amazon has not made provisions for educational screenings of its content. While classroom use would be non-commercial, it would not be considered personal/private use. Streaming Amazon content in a classroom setting would be a direct violation of licensing terms (section 4h).


Hulu and/or ESPN

Copyright license Grant and Restrictions

     C. Restrictions on Your Use of the Services.  You agree that as a condition of your license, you may not and agree not to:

      iv. use the Services for any commercial or business related use or in any commercial establishment or area open to the public (e.g., lobby, bar, restaurant, diner, stadium, casino, club,                  cafe, theater, etc.) or build a business utilizing the Content or Services, whether or not for profit;

and under section

      vii. access, monitor, or copy, or permit another person or entry to access, monitor or copy, any element of the Services using a robot, spider, scraper or other automated means or                     manual process without our express written permission;


I Teach a Film Class. What Options Do I Have? 
Streaming in a classroom setting from a service deemed for personal use violates the terms and conditions that ultimately trump any copyright exemptions. Options, while not ideal, could include:

    • Utilizing the Netflix Grant of Permission documentary titles as much as possible if streaming is necessary
    • If a film is not included in the Grant of Permission list, requiring students to access film content on their own through their own personal subscription could be included in your syllabus as a course requirement. This would shift watch time to out of class, leaving discussions for in class - a flipped classroom approach.
    • Purchasing DVD or Blue Ray disc when available.
    • Contacting the streaming service directly could prove helpful to state your case. In researching this topic, Netflix seems to be the most helpful in providing verbal agreements in some cases to approve streaming in classroom settings. Keep in mind, there usually is no written agreement, and the answer given would be dependent upon who you speak with on any given day. Documentation of some sort would need to be kept by the faculty member.


For more information regarding these policies, visit the Copyright Information page on 


Article ID: 74334
Fri 3/22/19 10:35 AM
Tue 11/8/22 9:09 AM