Lovers of classic films have been set adrift this month after the Filmstruck streaming service was unceremoniously murdered by corporate ghouls. But friends, I want to tell you about a free streaming service that’s in many ways just as good as Filmstruck, offers Criterion films, and has at least one feature that no one else does. Kanopy is not new, it got its start in Australia a decade ago and has slowly expanded its services around the globe. Its business model is to partner with universities and public libraries which then offer students and members the ability to stream the service’s library of 30,000 films for free. Some 4,000 public libraries worldwide use the service, so there’s a decent chance you have access through your local system. Why haven’t you been doing this? I don’t know. Why haven’t I? I couldn’t really tell you! But it’s very good. I think the biggest reason Kanopy isn’t a household name is that association with libraries. Public libraries are great and offer all kinds of digital options that you may not be aware of. So if you don’t have a library card that’s the first step to signing up. In New York City, where I’m located, you can sign up for a library card online. It’s been a while since my last library visit and getting set up on Kanopy meant that I had to revisit an old feeling from the Blockbuster Video days—cleaning up late fees. It did not inspire even the… [Read full story]
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