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Kanopy FAQ: Home

Changes to Kanopy

Beginning in June 2021, Mount Allison will be changing to a partially mediated access model for the Kanopy streaming video service. This means that some films will no longer be immediately available for viewing. Instead, faculty, staff, and students can submit a request to the Mount Allison Library in order to gain streaming access. If the Library has already obtained a film's licence, it will be available for unlimited viewing until the lease expires. Mount Allison is one of many universities across North America that is moving to this system within Kanopy to control soaring, unsustainable costs associated with Kanopy's "patron-driven acquisition" fee structure.

General Questions
Making a Film Request
Other Film Databases
More Information

General Questions

Why is Mount Allison changing access models?

The Library has decided to move to a partially mediated mode for Kanopy purchases because the unlimited access model has become financially unsustainable. Previously, the library was automatically invoiced for a film's lease upon its fourth viewing of 30 seconds or more, costing $150 USD per film for one year. The Library budgeted $10,000 for Kanopy in 2020-21, but the costs more than doubled by year end. Due to the increasing popularity of Kanopy, the library is no longer able to support the unlimited purchases; however, we will continue to acquire the films that are needed for courses or academic research upon request and as funds permit.

What does leasing or licensing a film mean?

Kanopy offers a variety of licence options, but the default term is a 12-month licence typically costing $150 USD. At the end of the 12 months, the film returns to the “free range” unlicensed pool of content. If users trigger a sufficient number of plays, then another $150 USD licence will be activated and paid for by the Library. Essentially, we pay for anything viewers watch.


Will any Kanopy films be available without request?

Yes, films from certain academic distributors will be provided in a curated pool of content that can be triggered and invoiced without a mediated request. Also, films the Library has already licensed will continue to be available until the term of their licence terms expire, at which point they will either return to the curated pool if they match the criteria for automatic licence triggers, or they will return to the general mediated pool which will require a purchase request for another licence.


Will faculty need to resubmit requests for films used in annual courses?

If a film is frequently used for educational or research purposes, faculty may contact the relevant subject librarian to discuss the most appropriate licence options to suit their needs.


How can I tell if a film is available?

If a film plays, it is available; however, we recommend you contact your subject librarian to ensure the licence will remain active if you need the film on a later date. If a licence is not available for automatic purchase, you will see a pop-up box enabling you to request access.


Will I still be able to preview films?

Not yet. Some films have trailers and clips, and Kanopy is adding more preview options. By Fall 2021, Kanopy hopes to provide a "faculty preview" feature enabling faculty to preview entire films without triggering a licence. Until then, if you need to preview a film please contact for assistance.


Does Mount Allison provide any other streaming services?

Yes! Mount Allison provides access to many film databases in addition to Kanopy. Unlike Kanopy, these other film databases operate on a standard subscription model whereby we pay a yearly fee for access to all their content. The three main databases are Audio Cine Films, AVON, and Criterion on Demand. A full list of film databases can be found here.

Film Quarterly provides the following analysis of Kanopy and its costs:

Kanopy article in Film Quarterly

Other Film Databases

Making a Request

How do I make a request?

If you attempt to play a film from the mediated portion of the Kanopy catalogue, you will be prompted to complete a request form. Please fill in the required fields including your name, e-mail, and some information outlining the course, program or research area for which the film is needed.

 Please ensure you make a request at least three (3) business days before the film is needed so we can process your request in time.

If you are a faculty member requesting a film that will be used in a course that will be offered annually, you can also contact your subject librarian to arrange a multi-year licence or a perpetual licence, if available.


What happens after I submit a request?

The request goes directly to our Technical Services & Systems Librarian. The librarian will first confirm that the film is not already available in one of the Library's other film databases.

If Kanopy is the only option, the librarian will approve films needed for academic purposes as funds permit. You will be notified once the film is available within Kanopy.


How far in advance should I request a film?

Please request a film at least three (3) days before it is needed. If a film is requested on a weekend or holiday, the request will not be viewed until the next business day.


What should I do if a film's licence expires before I need it?

If you contact the library in advance, we can renew the licence. Please send an e-mail to your subject librarian or with the film's current link, the course or research project you need it for, and the date you intend to use the film.


My question is not answered here.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Research Help Desk at

Films Not Available in Kanopy

The Library asked Kanopy to run an overlap analysis and remove access to content that is duplicated in other streaming media databases in the Library’s holdings.

On a quarterly basis, Kanopy removes films because of changes in their distribution rights. The list of deletions from the Kanopy catalogue are below. Please note that Kanopy will honour any existing licences until the end of the contracted term. Please contact for assistance if you see a film on these lists that you have been using or intend to use in your courses.