Kanopy is a collection of documentaries, feature films, and other videos that are available on demand through the Champlain College library. Unlike our journal article databases — or unlike your own Netflix, Amazon video or other subscription services – the library pays for Kanopy on a per-title basis. Under Kanopy’s licensing model, three views or partial views of a film are free, but the fourth view triggers a rental fee. That fee makes the film accessible to Champlain affiliates for a one-year licensing period. This rental-trigger process is invisible to the user and is very convenient. But rapid and continuous increase in Kanopy use has led to escalating, unpredictable, and unsustainable budget strain. Last year, we were able to cover the increased cost by redirecting all available resources to that purpose. This year, we increased our anticipated spending by another 66%, but that will still not cover the actual usage.
After hard consideration as well as consultation with Film faculty and with other academic libraries facing the same dilemma, we have realized that we must modify our access model. Effective immediately, requests for access to Kanopy titles will be tied to course use. New rentals will not be triggered automatically.
Faculty members: If you know that a course you teach will need access to titles contained in Kanopy, please reach out directly to Jessica Allard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-8468 to let her know the specific film titles you will need, the course(s) you need them for, and the hoped-for time frame. You can also request DVDs through Jessica, if those will meet your need.
Kanopy titles that have already been triggered will remain available through the end of their one-year licensing period, which depends on the date they were triggered. We can also arrange for 3-year licenses at a substantial savings for Kanopy titles that you expect to use on a continued basis in your courses.
As you can imagine, this was a difficult decision for us to make, since it marks such a departure from our usual open access model. We remain committed to making sure that you and your students will have access to the resources you need, and this change will help us continue to meet that mission in a financially responsible and sustainable way.