Posted by: bluesyemre | January 6, 2019

#RecordingLectures: legal considerations


Clarifying the legal aspects of recording lectures at UK further and higher education institutions.

Key points

  • In legal terms, copyright, data protection and performer’s rights will be the most significant issues for institutions to consider
  • Where materials are produced by a lecturer (employee) as part of his/her job, copyright is generally owned by the employer (college or university) and permission is not needed to include them in a recording
  • Apart from certain exceptions, where a lecture includes works that have been created by non employees (eg visiting speakers, students, third parties) permission will be required to include them in a recording
  • Colleges and universities need consent of performers (including employees and visiting speakers) in order to record, copy, or make available a performance
  • Data protection law will apply to all identifiable individuals (students and lecturers). Processing must be fair and lawful: everyone attending should know that it is being recorded, why it’s being recorded and who will have access to it. A recording-free zone might be set up to accommodate those who wish to opt-out.


Recording lectures provides institutions with useful learning resources which can be viewed off campus and on demand. This has obvious advantages for distance learning, accessibility, revision and re-use of materials.

It is now common practice to store lectures on institutions’ servers or remotely.

This guide considers the legal issues in recording and storing lectures for UK further and higher education. To fully realise the benefits and comply with the law, an institution must consider the rights of all relevant parties including students, staff and external parties, whose works, participation and content may appear within an audio or video recording.

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