A DVD is usually very much more affordable for the library to purchase (and own permanently) than to license or purchase online streaming rights. If a video is to be shown only in a physical classroom, made available for reserve streaming under Fair Use, or students can physically check out a DVD on reserve, a DVD is much more cost effective.
The library can facilitate the process of converting library DVD content for limited course-related reserves when appropriate copyright conditions are met. If a video is only available on DVD (and there is no commercial online streaming license available for purchase), weighing the four copyright fair use criteria usually weights in favor of fair use.
Copyright law has provisions (such as fair use) which can allow library DVD content to be streamed online via Electronic Reserves. Also, some documentary DVDs can be purchased with unlimited institutional streaming rights from the publisher. Please consult with your librarian liaison regarding what options may be available.
To request a DVD video be made available in Electronic Reserves under Fair Use: