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Criterion on Demand Renewal 2018-2019

Response Deadline: 
September 18, 2018

Subscription Term


October 1, 2018


September 30, 2019

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).


Silverlight: While Silverlight is still required for Internet Explorer 11 for those using the Windows 7 operating system, all later versions of IE and current version of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox do not require Silverlight.

Slow loading times/access issues: Criterion has said that they have not received many report of these since them implemented a new server system last summer. If users are experiencing this problem, please have them report them to tech support ( There is another video player update being tested right now that will include further enhancements and accessibility features; one option being considered is the ability to manually set playback quality, which may help further with users experiencing issues due to slow internet speeds.

Closed captioning: Criterion provides closed captioning for any feature films where closed-captioning/subtitles are made available on the master materials. For the most part feature films on CoD will have a corresponding captioned version of the film, except where the film is a foreign language film (then only the English version is a captioned version) or the captioning is not available on the master. They have identified approximately 200 videos on CoD that have no captioning available; they are trying to determine if any of these 200 videos have new master materials where captioning is available and if so, they will update those titles to the captioned version.



For the last 40 years, Criterion Pictures has been providing feature film rights to the Canadian non-theatrical market which includes Schools, Daycares, Municipalities, Colleges and Universities, Ground Transportation, Small Hotels, Resorts, Recreation Centres, Public Libraries, Businesses, Film Societies, etc.

Criterion Pictures distributes its product via film, DVD, VHS and more recently digital delivery. Working with its customers, it has developed a large number of viewing options in order to find cost-effective presentation methods that meet the individual needs of each marketplace. 

Criterion Pictures works with its clients, whether it be for entertainment or educational purposes, to ensure client satisfaction and product superiority.

Criterion Pictures has developed an online 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.

Criterion-on-Demand is the only customizable online Feature Film Solution-focused specifically on the Canadian Post Secondary Market.

[From vendor]

Last updated: September 21, 2021

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. 

Supporting Documentation:

​Additional Implementation Details:

MARC records: Criterion has indicated that they will be able to provide MARC records on a quarterly basis rather than annually as has been the case in the past. I am still waiting on confirmation on when the quarterly files will begin. Some issues with the last MARC file were flagged for me by York University (they include UTF-8 and MARC-8 encoding, diacritics not displaying properly, at least one title that is not available). I have requested that Criterion provide a new file that resolves these problems, and will update subscribers once this is complete.

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:

Title Lists - An up to date title list is available on the CoD eResource page. The website also has excellent search and browse features.

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.