Streaming Media Policy

The Language Center (LC) makes streamed media available upon request in support of courses within the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, although priority is given to units that are directly supported by the LC:

Romance Languages and Literatures
Germanic Languages & Literatures
Slavic Languages & Literatures
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
African and African American Studies
South Asian Studies
Celtic Languages and Literatures

and a limited number of arts and humanities courses.

As multiple resources exist at Harvard for streamed media, including through the Library (Kanopy, etc.), the LC may refer patrons to these services depending on the nature of the request and the title’s availability on these platforms.

The LC will stream materials that are not readily available in the commercial U.S. market, subject to the guidelines below. Commercially available titles are those that can easily be obtained or viewed in the U.S., including recent or current theatrical releases, those available via services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, or Hulu, and DVD materials that may be readily purchased. If titles exist in these formats, then, unless only a small portion of the work will be used, instructors should require either subscriptions to commercial streaming services (e.g., Netflix) or the purchase or borrowing of materials, as they would a textbook or similar item.  (In cases of financial hardship, students are encouraged to contact the Harvard College Griffin Financial Aid Office at

The following guidelines apply to use of media streamed by the LC:

  • The requested title must be required viewing or listening for the course; a syllabus or course plan should be filed with the LC for each request, indicating the title(s) and anticipated use within the curriculum. Instructors may attach a copy of their syllabus or course plan to the streamed media request form.
  • If the learning objectives supported by the media can be achieved by using a part of the work, the instructor should identify, and the LC will only stream, the smallest portion needed, rather than the entire work.
  • Instructors must contextualize the use of the media within the course. The learning objectives and activities associated with the title should be clear and adjacent to the media. This might be achieved, for example, with introductory or framing text, instructions to the students, a short video outlining the work’s relevance to the course, or other critical analysis or commentary that connects the material to the activities of the class and the instructor’s educational objectives.
  • Access to the streamed material will be limited to students enrolled in the course, and instructors and staff supporting the course. These materials will be made available only through Canvas, via the Media Gallery.  HarvardKey authentication will be used to control access.
  • To deter capture and further dissemination of the media content, the material will be streamed only; students will not be allowed direct access to the media file.
  • All sources for streamed media must be lawfully obtained.  Source material may not include off-air recordings, bootlegs, or materials that have no clear provenance.
  • The copy of the physical media used for streaming, such as a DVD edition of the work, will be removed from Library or LC circulation for the duration of access to the streamed title.
  • Streamed media will be available for the duration of the course, or a specified period within the course, whichever is shorter. Access to media will not persist from term to term; requests for streaming must be made for each term in which the material is to be used.
  • Any Canvas site using streamed media should also include the User Notice for Course Websites (, posted prominently for students to read.

When the LC has a license to use requested materials (e.g., materials accompanying a language textbook), it will make those materials available in accordance with the license terms. In the absence of a license, the LC generally will not stream works that were produced primarily for instructional use by educational institutions.

Request streaming media for your Canvas instance at


In cases where a student does not have ready access to a computer or other device for viewing streaming titles, the LC can make a laptop and headphones available for use within the center during its hours of operation.  Please inquire at the front desk.


Faculty and students may request use of LC spaces for viewing streamed media, as long as the attendees are all enrolled in the course.  Check the calendar and schedule a group meeting at


Questions?  Please contact us at