Video Streaming Licenses: Using a Decision Tree and Workflow Chart


  • Stephanie S. Towery Texas State University
  • Amanda N. Price Texas State University
  • Karen E. Cowen Texas State University



This paper documents the results of a three-year process at a university library to develop a workflow for acquiring streaming video for use in face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses. The authors of this paper created two tools that guide their library in acquiring streaming video: the Streaming Resources Decision Tree (SRDT) and the Streaming Video Workflow Chart (SVWC). This paper describes the SRDT in depth, and the SVWC in brief. This paper describes the legal rationale behind the SRDT, which explores the limits of the right to fair use in U.S. copyright law.

Author Biographies

Stephanie S. Towery, Texas State University

University Libraries

Amanda N. Price, Texas State University

University Libraries

Karen E. Cowen, Texas State University

University Libraries



Adams, T., & Holland, C. (2017). Streaming media in an uncertain legal environment: A model policy and best practices for academic libraries. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 1(2), 1-32.

Association of Research Libraries. (2012, January). Code of best practices in fair use for academic and research libraries. Retrieved from

Band, J. (2018, December 17). ReDigi, digital first sale, and the power of footnotes. Disruptive Competition Project (DisCo). Retrieved from

Butler, B. (2015). Transformative teaching and educational fair use after Georgia State. Connecticut Law Review, 48(2), 473-530.

Crews, K. D. (2012). Copyright law for librarians and educators: Creative strategies and practical solutions. Third Edition. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Cross, W. (2016). More than a house of cards: Developing a firm foundation for streaming media and consumer-licensed content in the library. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 1(1) 1-24.

Farnsworth, W., Guzior, D. F., & Malani, A. (2010). Ambiguity about ambiguity: An empirical inquiry into legal interpretation. Journal of Legal Analysis 2(1), 257–300.

Ferullo, D. L. (2014). Managing copyright in higher education: A guidebook. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Fromer, J. C. (2015). Market effects bearing on fair use. Washington Law Review, 90(2), 615-649.

Gibson, J. (2007). Risk aversion and rights accretion in intellectual property law. The Yale Law Journal, 116(5) 882-1169.

Hobbs, R., Jaszi, P., & Aufderheide, P. (2009). How media literacy educators reclaimed copyright and fair use. International Journal of Learning and Media, 1(3), 33-48.

Huber, J., Yeh, B. T. & Jeweler, R. (2006). Copyright exemptions for distance education: 17 U.S.C. § 110(2), the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002. Retrieved from

Jaszi, P. (2013). Fair use and education: The way forward. Law & Literature, 25(1), 33-49doi:10.1525/lal.2013.25.1.33

Jenemann, L., & Butler, B. (2014). What rights come with that movie?. Library Journal, 139(1), 54.

King, R. (2014). House of cards: The academic library media center in the era of streaming video, The Serials Librarian, 67(3), 289-306.

Krause, M. (2016). Why academic libraries hate Netflix: Digital copyright and the challenge of acquiring and providing on-demand streaming media for classroom use (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from

Lazar, L. A., & Myers, C. (2012). Desire to listen: One learning management system-based solution to providing copyright compliant streaming audio reserves. Music Reference Services Quarterly, 15(3), 149-172.

Lemley, M. (2007). Should a licensing market require licensing?. Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, 70(2), 185-203. Retrieved from

Leval, P.N. (1990). Toward a fair use standard. Harvard Law Review, 103(5), 1105-1136. Retrieved from

Leval, P.N. (1997) Nimmer lecture: Fair use rescued. UCLA Law Review, 44, 1449, 1465.

Loos, T. J. (2007). Fair use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, 13(2), 601-616.

Loren, L.P. (1997). Redefining the market failure approach to fair use in an era of copyright permission systems, Journal of Intellectual Property Law, 5(1) 38–39.

Madigan, K. (2017). What would Judge Gorsuch mean for fair use?. Retrieved from

Nimmer, M.B, & Nimmer, D. (2006). Nimmer on Copyright. New York: Matthew Bender.

Nimmer, M.B, & Nimmer, D. (2014). Nimmer on Copyright. New York: Matthew Bender.

Office of Institutional Research, Texas State University. Texas State. SCH [Student Credit Hours] and Student Headcount by Term, AY2006 to AY 2017. Retrieved from (Course Instruction Mode: All and Face-to-face deselected)

Office of Academic Affairs/Provost, Texas State University. (2018, August 6) AA/PPS No. 02.03.01 (4.01) Conduct and planning of courses. Retrieved from

Pallante, M. (2015). Orphan works and mass digitization. Report of the Register of Copyrights.

Pasquale, F. (2005). Breaking the vicious circularity: Sony’s contribution to the fair use doctrine. Case Western Reserve Law Review, 55, 777, 781–84.

Russell, C. (2010). The best of copyright and VideoLib. Library Trends 58(3), 349-357.

Rumore, M. (2016). The course syllabus: Legal contract or operator’s manual?. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 80(10), 1-7.

Spicer, S. (2018). Perspectives on the role of instructional video in higher education. In Hobbs, R. (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Media Education, Copyright, and Fair Use (pp. 236-257). New York: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315637549-17

Spicer, S. R., & Horbal, A. (2017). The future of video playback capability in college and university classrooms. College & Research Libraries, 78(5), 706-722.

Towery, S., & Cowen, K.E. (2018, June). Can I upload his movie to my class site? Developing a workflow for streaming video. Program session presented at the annual conference of the American Library Association, New Orleans, LA.

Register of Copyrights (1999). Report on copyright and digital distance education. Retrieved from


Copyright Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-553, 90 Stat. 2541, 2546 (codified as amended at 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq.) (2005).

Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-304, 112 Stat. 2860 (codified at 17 U.S.C. § 1201) (2006).


Exemptions to prohibition against circumvention, 37 CFR § 201.40 (2015).

Orphan Works and Mass Digitization, 77 Fed. Reg. 64555, 64555, n. 2 (October 22, 2012).

Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, 80 Fed. Reg. 65944 (October 28, 2015).

Legislative History

House Report 94-1176, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. 67 (1976).

Senate Report 94-473, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 64 (1975).

Senate Report 107-31, 107th Cong., 1st Sess. 5-6 (2001).


A & M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F. 3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001).

A.V. v. iParadigm, 562 F.3d 630 (4th Cir. 2009).

American Geophysical Union v. Texaco, Inc., 60 F.3d 913 (2d Cir. 1994).

Association for Information Media and Equipment v Regents of the University of California, No. 2:10-cv-09378-CBM (MANx), (C.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2011). 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187811 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 20, 2012).

Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust, 902 F.Supp 2d 445, 465 n.33 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).

Barnhill v. Johnson, 503 U.S. 393 (1992).

Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley, 448 F.3d 605 (2d Cir. 2006).

Blanch v. Koons, 467 F.3d 244, 247 (2d Cir. 2006).

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994).

Cambridge University Press v Patton, 769 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2014).

Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDiGi Inc., 934 F. Supp. 2d 640 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), aff’d, Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc., No. 16-2321, 2018 WL 6518076 (2d Cir. Dec. 12, 2018).

Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. VidAngel, Inc., 869 F. 3d 848 (9th Cir. 2017).

Ratzlaf v. United States, 510 U.S. 135, 148 (1994).

Recording Indus. Ass’n of Am. v. Diamond Multimedia Sys., Inc., 180 F.3d 1072, 51 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1115 (9th Cir. 1999).

Perfect 10 v., 487 F.3d 701 (9th Cir. 2007).

Schwegmann Brothers v. Calvert Distillers Corp., 341 U.S. 384, 395 (1951).

Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984).

Triangle Pubs., Inc. v. Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Inc., 626 F.2d 1171, 1176 n.14 (5th Cir. 1980).

UMG Recordings v, Inc., 92 F. Supp. 2d 349, 353 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).

United States v. Fisher, 6 U.S. (2 Cranch) 358, 399, 2 L.Ed. 304 (1805).

Universal City Studios v. Reimerdes, 111 F. Supp. 2d 294, 322 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).




How to Cite

Towery, S. S., Price, A. N., & Cowen, K. E. (2019). Video Streaming Licenses: Using a Decision Tree and Workflow Chart. Journal of Copyright in Education &Amp; Librarianship, 3(1).