Licensing Streaming Content:
Current mainstream/commercial films are usually offered for sale or rent through personal accounts from streaming vendors like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple, etc. The library cannot buy or rent for the UCI community from these vendors. They do not allow libraries to license any of their content. These commercial sites were designed for personal accounts; they do not grant rights for institutional or educational use. When you sign up for an account with one of these vendors, the license you agree to, which supersedes copyright and educational fair use, is for personal viewing only. The only legal option for films from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple, etc. is to have students rent the films themselves, similar to buying a textbook. The website "Just Watch" is a good place to discover which commercial vendor(s) might be offering streaming access to this type of media. Additionally, "Telescope Film" is a great website to discover international films which often link back to commercial vendors for streaming access.
While UCI Libraries cannot license from these vendors, there are library-specific streaming media vendors that we regularly work with that might provide access. If you would like us to look into specific titles you need for pedagogical purposes during the upcoming year, please reach out to your Subject Librarian with information about the film, class, and time frame when it's needed, and we will investigate to see if we're able to locally license it.
Converting Physical Media into Streaming:
Please note: Due to copyright, licensing, and other issues, the Libraries are unable to convert media—either owned by the Libraries or by individual faculty—such as VHS tapes and DVDs into streaming format.
If you have a specific film title you want to watch or an album you want to listen to, then you should use UC Library Search to begin your hunt. UC Library Search is UCI Library's new catalog and discovery system that will show you if we have access to something, and if so, which database has it.
***SEARCH HINT: Limit your search to "Library Catalog" and the Material Type to either "Video/Film" or "Sound Recordings" to narrow your initial search down. You can then specifically find streaming media by adding on the "Available online" limiter on the left side of the page***
If you want to browse or get a general idea of the variety of streaming resources we provide, then you should go to the "Streaming Media @ UCI" tab to discover the many different databases we provide.
If you're on campus and logged in through the campus WiFi network then you can just click on any of these links and stream anything you want.
If you're off campus then you need make sure you're logged in through the campus VPN. There are multiple options, but for streaming media, it's always best to use the Desktop/Software VPN for the best viewing experience. More information can be found here: https://www.lib.uci.edu/connect