Answered By: Monique Ritchie
Last Updated: 06 Oct, 2014     Views: 931

Recording a lecture by someone else

If you wish to record a lecture given by a third party, you should always ask the lecturer for permission before doing so. This is because the lecturer will own rights to his/her 'performance', and you need to secure consent before you can record it for your personal use. You may also need to give prior notice of your intention to record the lecture to anyone who might participate in the 'perfomance' eg by asking a question, or who might otherwise be personally identifiable in the recording. 

Copyright ownership of recorded lectures

Under s.11(2) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, an employer is the first owner of copyright in work created in the normal course of employment. An employer will therefore own the content of a lecture created by a member of staff who is contracted to create it. However, as lectures are also performances (see s.180(2) for a definition of a performance), anyone, including an employer, who wishes to record, copy or distribute a recording of a lecture, even if they own the content, must get permission or a licence to use the performance. Permission can be secured on an individual basis, using a release form, where the performer/s transfers or licenses further use of the performance. An employer may choose to address this by including a clause on rights in lecture performances in a contract of employment. If the performer has chosen to assert his/her moral rights to be identified as the creator of a work and the right to object to derogatory treatment of the work, any subsequent use or dissemination must respect these.

Copyright in the sound recording of a lecture recorded by the institution will be owned by the institution, however if a lecturer has made a sound recording him/herself, copyright in the physical recording is owned by the lecturer, even if the content might be owned by the employer or other third party. The institution would therefore need to secure the rights to further copy and distribute the recording.

Using third party material in recorded lectures

There can be issues regarding the use of third party copyright material in lectures which are recorded. The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence permits use of material from their repertoire in paper and digital course packs, subject to terms and conditions. The CLA Licence will also permit licensees to record lectures where content used under the terms of the institution's CLA Licence appears (such as a scanned reading which appears in a recorded slide) provided the recording is only made available to the same group of students for whom the reading was originally made.

Some use of third party content may be covered under statutory exceptions to copyright. Under the fair dealing for criticism or review (s.30) exception, an insubstantial amount of published material, eg a short quotation, might be permissible, provided the source is adequately credited, and is genuinely for critique, not simply to illustrate a point or paraphrase the original. However material used under an exception may not be further distributed except where authorised by the rights owner, or another Act of Parliament.