In response to the THE article we circulated late last week entitled ”Academics ‘must sign away authorship rights’ to recorded lectures” (if you missed it please click here) we received several queries. In particular, we were asked for further details as to the fifth comment at the end of the article:
Lecturers have the option under law not to have their lectures recorded without their informed consent. Even University of Nottingham managers cannot force their academic staff to sign away their rights under law.
We are conscious that ‘Captured Content’ is not synonymous with ‘Lecture Capture’ – but it is important that your rights are understood and protected.
Members may not be aware that there are legal frameworks that protect their rights when Lecture Capture policies are being developed and implemented. These rights are contained within the umbrella legislation Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (it is more exciting than it sounds).
As well as relevant clauses on copyright, s.182 of the CDPA (for short!) outlines the consent required for the recording of live performance. To view what is classed as an infringement, it literally only takes a moment to read the relevant section here
If you are wondering what this means, or its relevance, the following section explains the remit of this legislation to live lectures (please click here )
(2)In this Part — “performance” means —
(a)a dramatic performance (which includes dance and mime),
(b)a musical performance,
(c)a reading or recitation of a literary work, or
(d)a performance of a variety act or any similar presentation
In addition, the JISC legal guide describes lectures as a ‘live delivery‘ and ‘dramatic communication to others of opinions, thoughts and interpretation‘.
Please also note the HEFCE guidelines on this issue (contained within ‘Intellectual property rights in e-learning programmes’ See Page 14: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/5972/1/06_20.pdf)
105. Contracts of employment with staff should make clear that they own the performers’ rights in any video or other recording of their own lectures or presentations. Exploitation of such materials should only be undertaken by the HEI following negotiation of a licence from the member of staff.
We hope this gives you some insight as to why the sector norm for HE institutions is to adopt opt-in and opt-out policies (not compulsory).
There are many other facets to this complex issue that you have raised, including concerns related to the provision of technological support within the University, the lack of evidence that such material enhances the learning potential of students, and the extra time it takes to administrate this technology both before and after the lecture. We also understand that with an opt-in system those that find the technology suited to their disciplinary material, and find its facilities constructive, should be encouraged to use the technology available.
This is why we wanted to provide you with a legal ‘lowdown’.
We will continue to take your feedback on board. Thanks all!