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Criterion on Demand Renewal 2020-2021

Response Deadline: 
September 4, 2020

Subscription Term


October 1, 2020


September 30, 2021

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 Alberta Library (TAL).

  • Criterion has extended remote access to December 31, 2020 for all Consortia Canada Member subscribers.
  • From the period October 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020, Consortia Canada member schools streamed films 338,442 times – a 92% increase in usage compared to the same period last term.
  • Consortia Canada Members had over 26,000 instances of a single title being accessed 3+ times in a single month. Using other streaming services with a Cost-Per-Play subscription model, this may have triggered a licensing purchase for each of these instances.
  • In the same time period, Criterion On Demand has added over 400 videos to the platform, and made available MARC records for these titles.
  • Criterion On Demand has very recently deployed a brand-new player that, along with a new design and greater compatibility, also allows for access on iOS and Android mobile devices to help learners who are using these devices as their primary computer device. Until recently, only playback on Desktop OS (Windows, MacOS) was available.
  • Criterion Pictures recently lost rights to the title “I Am Not Your Negro” and this title is no longer be accessible as of June 11, 2020.

June 2020:

Fox has agreed to provide remote access to their titles until December 31, 2020 in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Remote Access
Unlimited Access

Additional Information


Supporting Documentation:

​Additional Implementation Details:

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:  

When Criterion receives a new title request for CoD, they advise that it will be considered for inclusion in the next batch content update. Content updates usually are uploaded twice per year (occasionally quarterly if there are many titles). If it is a rush request, Criterion will offer to add a single title within 10-business days for a admin/lab fee of $105. When rush requests are uploaded they do not include a MARC record – the MARC record will come with the next batch content update. 

Title Lists

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


In order to play films in Internet Explorer 11 on the Windows 7 operating system, 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. 

Most other browsers do not require Silverlight. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

The following are some of the questions asked by libraries and consortia as the subscription 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.

Questions? Contact: 
Reba Ouimet