Recording Lectures and the Law Top Tips

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These top tips serve as a quick reminder of the main areas to be addressed and sources of help available when recording lectures.

1.       Think legal from the start to be confident in compliance.  Copyright, performers’ rights, data protection, and accessibility are the main areas of law you need to consider. 

2.       Check who owns the content of the lecture being recorded.  Making a recording is further copying and as such there is unlikely to be automatic permission.  The owner could be the institution, or the presenter (a lecturer, a guest speaker or student).

3.       Encourage permitted use of open licensed materials, e.g. video clip with a liberal CC licence, to avoid copyright difficulties.

4.       Consider learners, and respect the choices given to them by law.  Do they want to be on camera?  Consider providing an area of the audience, or a section of the presentation which won’t be recorded.

5.       Get permissions to record and for your post-recording use.  Get the permission of the performers and the third party copyright owners where needed.

6.       Think about legal considerations as part of the editing process.  Minimise institutional risk of liability for inappropriate personal or infringing content.

7.       Remember to embed accessibility – as required by law. The recording should be accessible to all students as far as is reasonable given the circumstances.  This might mean being proactive in captioning, providing a transcript, and the availability of the recording in different formats.

8.       Consult, involve and inform staff early to ensure buy-in of staff and institution-wide consistent good practice.  Don’t spoil hard work with legal uncertainty.

9.       Use JISC Legal resources on recording lectures on our website at

10.    Use the JISC Legal Helpdesk by email, telephone and online at

Posted on 22/12/2011