Lecture recording: what does it mean to be open? - Jane Secker at OER17
From Ewan McAndrew on April 20th, 2017
Authors: Jane Secker, and Chris Morrison
Jisc (2014) produced guidance on the legal considerations of lecture recording highlighting the importance of copyright, however, this survey is the first research to be undertaken since major changes were made to UK copyright law in October 2014. The amendments widened the educational exceptions to copyright, specifically Section 32 (Illustration for Instruction) and Section 30 (Quotation, Criticism and Review) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The survey collected data about how different institutions might be interpreting these exceptions with regards to lecture recordings. The paper illustrates a mixed picture with regards to institutional policies. For example 31% of institutions have no documented approach or formal IPR policy for lecture recording despite Jisc recommending that they should. Only 29% of respondents have an institutional IPR policy with the remaining 40% having an informal, less well-documented approach. In addition to this nearly half of institutions (45%) did not consult widely with the academic community before introducing lecture capture. Meanwhile 45% of institutions do not to ask for individual consent from those being recorded. One of the key findings was that most recorded lectures are currently restricted so that they are only accessible to those within their institution. Concerns about copyright and IP were cited as one of the major barriers to making the recordings open.
The paper explores some of the contradictions that arise, for example requiring lecturers to obtain permission for the use of third party content as well as advising them to rely on fair dealing exceptions (for which no permission is required). In most institutions (94%) lecturers are expected to take responsibility for all rights issues. Even though this responsibility is shared with others, ultimately the lecturer often has to make decisions about which content to include. Many institutions (63%) try to give helpful examples to support lecturers interpret fair dealing, but leave the ultimate decision up to them. Only 3% actually monitor recordings to see if uses of copyright material are permitted under law. These findings are particularly interesting to consider in the context of risk-management and attitudes towards open practice. However several institution indicated that they might follow different processes if they were to make their recordings open, or to use them in a MOOC.
For this to happen we argue there needs to be a culture change in HE so that ‘copyright literacy’ is embedded across HE as part of developing digital capabilities. Supporting open practice inevitably means tackling difficult issues over copyright and providing timely support to staff.
Jisc (2014) Recording Lectures: legal considerations . Available at:
Rios-Amaya, Juliana, Secker, Jane and Morrison, Chris (2016) Lecture recording in higher education: risky business or evolving open practice. LSE / University of Kent, London, UK. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/68275/