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Criterion on Demand Renewal 2017-2018

Response Deadline: 
September 21, 2017

Subscription Term


October 1, 2017


September 30, 2018

BC ELN is pleased to offer a licence for Criterion on Demand, a streaming media service offering access to over 2,000 major motion pictures (largely Hollywood films). This license is made available through a national site license negotiated on behalf of Consortia Canada by the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS).


Pricing: The increase is 3.5%. Criterion originally proposed higher increases since we received a 15% discount for the loss of the Fox titles in 2015 and they wanted to revert back to the pre-discount pricing.  

FOX titles to be returned as of September 2017: In spring 2015, Fox Studios temporarily withdrew approximately 500 titles from the CoD platform. The titles are to be returned to the collection in September but will only be available on-campus (see below). The response deadline has been set to late September, so should Criterion not keep their promise of the titles being returned in September, libraries will still have time to decide if they'd like to cancel.

FOX titles will only be accessible on-campus. See attached title list of Fox titles to be added to the collection in September. Subscribing libraries will need to provide their off-campus proxy IP range so that Criterion can differentiate between titles that should be available both on and off campus and the Fox titles that are only available on campus.

Additions & Deletions/MARC records: Criterion now has a page on their website where subscribers can access MARC records, including files of additions and deletions.



Criterion Pictures has developed an on-line digital delivery feature film platform called Criterion-on-Demand. Our goal is to provide easy access to educationally relevant feature films used in Canadian Higher Education Institutions. We have been working closely with Colleges and Universities to ensure we meet the needs of this market sector."

Features of the product include:

  • A dedicated post-secondary bilingual website that offers title information, search capabilities, lists new releases and accepts title requests
  • More than 1500 English titles
  • More than 1100 French titles
  • Approximately 135 foreign language films with English subtitles
  • More than 100 documentary features
  • Subtitles and/or Closed Captioned titles when available
  • Both streaming and download options
  • MARC records
  • Access via IP authentication including off-campus access
  • Unlimited 24-7 access
  • Programs available in Silverlight with DRM protection
  • High quality media files

[From vendor]

Last updated: May 4, 2015


Response Instructions

To RENEW, no response is required from current subscribers as listed above. To JOIN or CANCEL, libraries should contact BC ELN by the response deadline.

Terms & Conditions

Additional Information


  • Unlimited access via IP address authentication both on and off-campus. For now the vendor has committed to allowing off-campus access. Usage will be monitored. This decision may be re-evaluated if signs of abuse appear. Downloading films to a laptop for later viewing is also possible.
  • EZproxy config info is available at
  • Access to the streaming media films is available through links in the MARC records or through a link to the CoD platform at this time. However, access via the CoD platform for remote access may be limited to access via MARC records in the future.

Supporting Documentation:

​Additional Implementation Details:

  1. Title Requests - Criterion is willing to add new titles to the platform at the request of libraries. Criterion must already hold the Canadian rights for the film/studio in question. The request form is available at:
  2. MARC Records - Access to the films is via links embedded in MARC records. Files are available at the Criterion On Demand eResource page. The vendor is working on its own webpage where up-to-date MARC records can be accessed. Although the website lists all the films, Criterion has chosen not to add direct links to play the films. This is a deliberate decision to distinguish this educational market product from other consumer platforms.
  3. Title Lists - An up to date title list is available on the CoD eResource page. The website also has excellent search and browse features.
  4. Silverlight - WIth the exception of Google Chrome, in order to play films, the user must have the Silverlight browser plug-in installed. This is a DRM system which is designed to prevent misuse of the digital content. Silverlight is free and takes only a few minutes to download and install. Silverlight is compatible with a wide variety of operating systems and browsers. Not every browser and OS combination is compatible. Please see the System Requirements tab on for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The following are some of the questions asked by libraries and consortia as the trial has progressed.

What if two students want to stream the same film at the same time?

  • They'll both get to watch it.  This is an unlimited streaming service. Criterion believes they have sufficient bandwidth and server capacity to support many simultaneous streams of the same or different films.

The licence says in 2(b) "personal, non-commercial and educational or research viewing". What exactly does that mean?

  • The licence is for educational use. Here are some examples of permitted uses:
    • the instructor shows a film to students in the classroom or in the library's showing room
    • the instructor tells students to watch the film (on or off campus) over the weekend and come to the next class prepared to discuss it
    • the instructor gives students a “reading list” of 10 films and tells them to watch one (or more) and write an essay about it
    • a masters student doing thesis on a famous director repeatedly views films by that director 
  • Here are some examples which are NOT educational use and would not be permitted:
    • the university holds an event open to the public and wants to stream a film from the CoD platform
    • a student club wants to hold a movie night on campus and stream the film via CoD
  • However, note the question below about the Criterion Entertainment PPR licence. If a school has the Entertainment PPR licence, the above two examples would be permitted.

My school has the Criterion Public Performance Rights (PPR) licence which allows for Entertainment uses. Does that expand the use(s) they may make of the CoD service?

  • Yes. The Entertainment PPR licence requires that the film being shown is a legitimate copy (i.e. purchased by library, the instructor's personal copy, etc.), not an illegal copy. The CoD platform is a legitimate source for films. Note that the Entertainment PPR licence only covers on-campus viewing. Off campus entertainment use is never permitted.

Do the films have Closed Captioning (CC)?

  • No, but most films have subtitles. Subtitling may not meet accessibility requirements. The vendor states they're working on CC, but it is expensive and will not be complete anytime soon.

Can the MARC records be loaded to a knowledge base or discovery layer?

  • Yes. Libraries can use whatever local access tools they wish to handle the MARC records, including the ILS and other such tools. Instructors can then freely copy those links into Learning Management Systems or online syllabi as desired. 

Are usage statistics are available?

  • Yes, Criterion automatically generates monthly usage statistics for each subscribing institution and sends them out on the first Monday of the month to the library contact on file.