World Language Academies

Resources for instructors and students

Video/Streaming Media Use

Commonly Asked Question: 

Q. Can I Zoom copyrighted DVDs the library owns or copyrighted and licensed content from streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime for a virtual class?


Advice from Washington and Lee University’s General CounselIn the virtual world of teaching, there are different rules for sharing videos than there may be in a face to face setting. The applicable laws do not permit showing full videos over Zoom or any other electronic learning platform. If you would like to show a full movie/video/documentary as part of your virtual instruction, you would need to get permission to do so.  Otherwise, the use of the movie/video/documentary must meet the Fair Use exception - - it is unlikely streaming a full film would meet Fair Use, though excerpts might.

If you want to stream copyrighted and/or licensed films via Zoom, you will need to determine if this practice meets the criteria of Fair Use under Title 17 of the US Code.  

If you have permission from the copyright holder or have completed a fair use assessment and feel confident that your use qualifies as fair use after a thorough analysis, ITS ( can help you with the technical aspects of this practice.  He will give you the technical pros and cons of showing media to your class with this method.

Copyright & Course Materials

All members of the University community are expected to adhere to United States Copyright Law and to follow Washington and Lee's Policy for the Use of Copyrighted Work.

For a thorough breakdown of important copyright issues in the virtual classroom, see: "Copyright in the Digital Age: Guidance for W&L Faculty."

Important: Copyright laws are specific to country of production.

An easy way to find only ebooks & limit by language

To find only a desired language:

1. Search the library catalog ( on the library's main webpage with “books only” selected.
2. On the left of the results screen (on a computer), under “Refine my results,” click “Available online” & “Apply filters.”
3. To view only ebooks in a particular language, on the left side of the results screen, under "Refine my Results," click "Language." Select the desired language & click "Apply Filters."

Step 1:

Library Catalog with Book Only limiter

Step 2:

Refine my results for available online

Step 3:

Filter for French Language