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Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I see the film and video clips?

If you are accessing the BFI Screenonline website from home, work, or in a café, you will not be able to view the clips. This is because they can only be viewed in registered UK schools, colleges, universities and public libraries (you can find a list of alternative locations for viewing BFI Screenonline titles in our General FAQ). While we'd love to be able to offer access to the BFI Screenonline clips for all UK and international users, we are unable to do so. This is because most of the material featured has been licensed from third parties, including Warner Bros., Sony Columbia, Carlton International, C4 and the BBC, all of whom are understandably anxious to protect their intellectual property. These organisations have generously allowed us to feature their content on the understanding that this was a free service for educational use on the premises of registered UK schools, colleges, universities and public libraries. To permit any other use - even if it is educational use - would breach the terms of our agreements with our rights holders, without whose support BFI Screenonline would simply not exist.

It should also be noted that intellectual property rights are territorial, which means that a company which owns distribution rights in the UK doesn't necessarily have the same rights for European or worldwide distribution. However, all of our textual content (including synopses, reviews and biographies) is accessible worldwide, as are images such as posters and stills, and the BT-sponsored Archive Interactives (featuring film clips). You can find a list of locations where you can access BFI Screenonline video or audio materials in our General help FAQ. Some BFI Screenonline video clips are freely available for download by everyone on the Creative Archive website.

I'm at a school, college, university or library but I can't view the video and audio clips. How do I register?

If you cannot view the clips, we will need to add your organisation's IP address range details to our database. You may need to contact a technical staff member, network manager or a librarian to determine all the IP address ranges for your institution.

Before giving us your institution's details, we need to confirm you are not registered. Please log onto one of your institution's computers and visit the BFI Screenonline IP check tool. If you see a message indicating 'Registered' then the problems you are experiencing are more likely to be due to your network or media player. Please check that your computer meets the technical requirements (see below) to view the clips or see the Technical help for more advice.

If you see a message saying 'Not registered', please email us with your contact details (name, organisation and location (e.g. 'North Yorkshire') and IP address range. If you do not have your IP range information, either contact your network manager (recommended), or submit your contact details via the feedback form (our system will automatically record your computer's IP address). Please ensure that you submit feedback from the premises of your educational institution as, due to the terms of our contracts with rightsholders, we are not permitted to add any home IP address ranges to our database. We advise you to ask your technical staff for your full IP address range because many organisations will have more than one range. If we are not given all the ranges, you may find that you cannot access the clips from some computers. We will try to add your IP address details to our database and contact you once you have access. Please note that for technical and resource reasons, updates and new registrations can take up to two months to enact.

I'm a student/teacher/lecturer - can I view the clips at home or download them for lessons?

Our contracts with rightsholders do not permit home use. However, you may be able to access the clips via your school or college network, providing your institution's IP address range is registered with us. We cannot assist with any queries regarding accessing the clips via a Virtual Learning Environment or network login; please refer any questions to your network manager or IT staff. If you are unable to view the clips via your education institution, please see our list of alternative locations where you can view the clips.

We regret that, for copyright reasons, you may not download BFI Screenonline video. The clips are 'streamed' from our server, which means they are not stored on your computer. Consequently, to use the clips in a lesson or lecture you will require a live connection to the Internet. Please note that many of the titles featured on BFI Screenonline are available to buy on VHS or DVD - for advice on locating titles see Content Help.

Is there a charge for accessing the BFI Screenonline clips?

Both the BFI Screenonline website and access to the video/audio clips are completely free.

What are the technical requirements for viewing the BFI Screenonline video clips?

PC users: To successfully play all the BFI Screenonline clips you will need version 9 or above of Windows Media Player. You can upgrade to a newer version by clicking here.

Mac users: Most of the clips on BFI Screenonline run on Windows Media Player, which means that you will need to download the (free) Flip 4 Mac extension to play them.

I have a licence for BFI Screenonline, but now it doesn't work or I can't download it.

We have moved to IP address range recognition, and no longer support the BFI Screenonline Educational Licence. If you are an education user, please send us your IP address range details. To find out more information on how to do this, see above.