[Eril-l] Kanopy privacy concerns and marketing emails

Morrow, Janet j.morrow at northeastern.edu
Thu May 9 06:54:04 PDT 2019

Hi all –

Kanopy has told us outright that anyone who signs up for an account will get marketing e-mails from them – and they are “look at the cool new films you can watch” type announcements.  If you don’t want them at all, you do have to ask them to stop – and it has to be stopped for everyone at your institution.

We were concerned about the possible fiscal ramifications of these types of ads, too.  We think we’ve gotten them successfully stopped.  Time will tell!


Janet B. Morrow
Head, Resource & Discovery Services
Northeastern University Library
360 Huntington Avenue
260 Snell Library
Boston, MA  02115
j.morrow at northeastern.edu<mailto:j.morrow at northeastern.edu>

From: Eril-l [mailto:eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org] On Behalf Of Kenneth D Rosenberg
Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2019 9:41 AM
To: Diane Westerfield
Cc: eril-l at lists.eril-l.org
Subject: Re: [Eril-l] Kanopy privacy concerns and marketing emails

Hi Diane,

On your question of marketing e-mails.  I know here we have gotten marketing e-mails for distributors on Kanopy that look very much like Kanopy e-mails letting the person know that this new movie is available on Kanopy and it is free for them to watch through their library.  I know PBS does this and it looks very much branded as a Kanopy e-mail.  I immediately sent it to Kanopy and requested they stop this when I first saw it and the response was it is not Kanopy but PBS marketing to people who have signed up with PBS.  The response was I should tell PBS about it.  Which was disappointing and I told Kanopy that they should tell PBS to stop as well because either Kanopy is consenting or their branding is being used without their consent.  There are one or two other production companies that I have seen this from as well, but it is clear that it originates with the publisher.


Ken Rosenberg
Acquisitions Librarian
Queens College
Benjamin Rosenthal Library 201B
Queens, NY 11367

Tel: 718-997-3721  Fax: 718-997-3789
kenneth.rosenberg at qc.cuny.edu<mailto:kenneth.rosenberg at qc.cuny.edu>

From: Eril-l [mailto:eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org] On Behalf Of Diane Westerfield
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2019 3:33 PM
To: eril-l <eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>>
Subject: [Eril-l] Kanopy privacy concerns and marketing emails

EXTERNAL EMAIL: please report suspicious content to the ITS Help Desk.


Regarding Kanopy, has anyone been able to negotiate a better privacy policy than is posted on their website? It seems geared towards “end user beware”, relying on patrons to be tech-savvy and proactive. Also it seems to imply that GDPR-level protection of personal data will not apply in non-EU countries.


Have other institutions had patrons receiving emails from Kanopy encouraging them to view other films? I heard that a professor at our college got a Kanopy email “telling him to watch a movie” and he was wondering why he got it. This makes me worried that our users who made accounts on Kanopy are getting marketing emails from Kanopy (which of course increases the chance we will be charged more money on the monthly invoice).

Since I have an administrative account tied to my email, I can’t register a regular user account and see if I get targeted emails as well. Does anybody know if there is an “opt-out” button when you register? That is, you can opt out of marketing emails when you sign up, as you can with many other accounts. I see in the privacy policy: 5 a “… You can also stop receiving promotional emails from us by following the unsubscribe instructions in those emails. Note that unsubscribe is not available for certain emails concerning your relationship or dealings with us.”

Apologies if I missed conversation on this earlier, I try to follow all the Kanopy-related discussions but may have missed one or two.


Diane Westerfield, Electronic Resources & Serials Librarian
Colorado College, Tutt Library
diane.westerfield at coloradocollege.edu<mailto:diane.westerfield at coloradocollege.edu>
(719) 389-6661
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