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​Kanopy @ UC

Changes to Kanopy access

Kanopy is a streaming video service offering documentaries and feature films operating on a lease model. Leases for academic institutions can be for one or three years and costs vary accordingly. After the lease expires, the library loses access to the film unless it purchases another lease. Kanopy  is not a flat fee service, instead charges are incurred upon the 4th "view" (30 seconds or more).

UC Libraries will begin mediating access to new, unlicensed films through the Kanopy Streaming Services starting on August 19, 2019.  Kanopy provides a wide range of films for use in teaching and research, and the service has proved to be overwhelmingly popular.  As a result, costs for Kanopy have continued to escalate significantly over time and unlimited access is no longer sustainable.

While mediation will help pace spending and result in better stewardship of university funds, the campus community will still be able to access a great deal of content.  All the titles with time remaining on their one-year lease will remain available for unlimited use. 

What is Mediated Mode?

In practice, this means that any new Kanopy lease will need to be approved by Library staff.

University of Cincinnati students, faculty, and staff will continue to have immediate access to films currently leased by UC (approximately 645 titles as of June 2019) until they expire. You will still be able to search for films that the Library does not already lease in Kanopy. However, when you attempt to access a film that UC Libraries does not have a lease for, you will have the option to select the “request” button next to the film, fill out the form, and the Library will work with you to fill your need. This shift to “mediated access” will better align with current procedures for other library-leased and purchased media.

Why can I access some videos without having to request them?
These videos have been previously requested by another patron and are already leased.

What does “lease” mean?

The Library does not purchase streaming media; instead we lease films. Leases can be for 1 or 3 years. When the lease expires we lose access until we purchase another lease.

Can I still preview a film?

You will not be able to preview films on Kanopy.  However, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Kanopy subscription may also be useful to preview films prior to requesting they be licensed by the University of Cincinnati Libraries.   

Can UC students request access to videos?

Absolutely! However, in order for a request to result in the purchase a lease students are required to be in good standing, enrolled in courses, have no outstanding library fines, and must use their UC email address to make the request. If you are a student that is local to the UC Campus and able to check the DVD out from the Library please do this instead.

What happens when I request a film?

The request is forwarded to our acquisitions department. Library staff will confirm that we do not own the title in another streaming media collection or in our DVD collection and will follow-up with the requestor if needed.   Library staff will then make the purchase in Kanopy or other streaming resources as funds permit.

The Library needs at least 1 working day to process and order the film. If you make a request on the weekend or after hours, the lease process will begin the next working day. Once the film is available, you will be emailed with a link..

What if we have already leased a film, but the lease expires before I need to use it?

You can let the Library know ahead of time, and we can purchase another lease in advance and have it start on a day of your choosing. Please email and please include your course information, lease length, and when you need the new lease to start. If possible, please include a permalink to the Library’s catalog record for the film.

You can also wait until the first lease expires, and then put in a request.

Where can I find media for my classes?

The best place to start is Summon, the Libraries' single search box.  You can also find streaming media and DVDs by title search in the Library's catalog, and many titles are also in databases that the Library subscribes to at

If you are looking for recreational or general viewing, you can access Kanopy through the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  You will need a library card to access Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County resources.  The Public LIbrary serves residents of the State of Ohio; Boone (KY), Campbell (KY), Kenton (KY) counties; or a temporary / transitional resident of Hamilton county.  Please contact the Public Library for details.

I have a question that isn’t answered here!

If you have any additional questions, please email Acquisitions at

More information about Kanopy

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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