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Find High Quality Educational Content on YouTube and Kanopy

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Kanopy is a database of more than 30,000 streaming videos, including classic, independent, and documentary films. This multidisciplinary database contains a diverse collection of films covering many subject areas.  To view a list of films by subject go to

What you need to know about Kanopy

Kanopy has a subscription model that is very different from many of the library's other databases. It uses a Patron Driven Acquisition model (PDA) and a mediated model.

During the majority of the academic year, we use the PDA model, giving us free access up front to all of the films in their database and then triggers a fee-based 1-year license for individual films that reach a specific usage level based on the number of times it has been viewed within a 1-year time period. The library allocates a budgeted amount to Kanopy each semester to cover these individual license fees as they are triggered over the academic year.

  • Kanopy defines a view as someone who watches an individual film for 30 seconds or more during a connected session.
  • The first three times any individual film is viewed for 30 seconds or more (up to and including watching the whole film) within a 1-year time period, we have free access and the library pays nothing. 
  • The fourth time an individual film is viewed for 30 seconds or more within a 1-year time period, our library is automatically charged a 1-year license fee for that film. This fee guarantees our access to that specific film for a 1-year time period starting from the date the license was triggered. 

As the currently allocated amount is spent down, the library may occasionally switch to Kanopy's mediated model until additional funds are allocated into Kanopy to resume the PDA model. This typically happens towards the end of the fall and spring semesters and as the end of the fiscal year approaches. Under the mediated model, we only retain immediate access to the licensed films; the free immediate access to films we don't have an active 1-year license to ends. You can still search the full Kanopy database for content, but when you try to access a film that doesn't have an active license you will be prompted to fill out a brief online form requesting access which goes to the library for approval. The library will follow up with you on your request.   

Teaching Uses, Copyright, & Database Features

Use in online learning environments & classrooms:

  • Kanopy is a licensed library resource that grants instructors permissions for using the films in your online course and physical classroom - no need to worry about getting copyright permissions!
  • You can use the entire film, create clips of specific portions of a film through your Kanopy account and create playlists.
  • Films have closed captioning and transcripts for accessibility. 
  • For remote classes, you can add a direct link or embed a film using the database provided embed code into Blackboard and other courseware.
    • Students logged into their Fitchburg State Blackboard course are automatically authenticated and connect directly to the film as soon as they click on the link or hit the media player's play button.
    • Using a different courseware like Moodle, other online tool like a wiki or simply emailing students a direct link to a film? Students still have easy access. As soon as they click on the link or hit the media player's play button, they will be prompted to login with their Fitchburg State Falcon Key and then connect directly to the film.​

Watch films on a variety of devices including phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs. Links to the Apps are below. Instructions for viewing can be found at

The films also come with public performance rights, so they can be shown at  campus-wide advertised events.

Having Problems Accessing Films in Kanopy?

If you have questions about or problems accessing films from Kanopy, please contact the Research Help Desk.