Copyright and recorded lectures

There are a number of copyright issues associated with the use of the lecture recording system and these guidelines are set out as answers to commonly asked questions. Answers to the questions below will also apply to pre-recorded lecture materials.

You may occasionally wish to use copyright work (e.g. an image, video clip or piece of text) belonging to another person or organisation in the course of your teaching. The law states that copying for the purposes of ‘illustration for instruction’ is permitted, provided the amount of copying is fair and appropriately acknowledged. See below for further details.

Showing a video, such as an excerpt from a film and playing music is permitted under the law, provided it is solely for the purposes of education and the lecture is not recorded.

You may also use small amounts of copyright material for the purposes of ‘quotation, criticism and review’ and for ‘illustration for instruction’. These exceptions are subject to the ‘fair dealing’ test (which involves judging if the work might be affected economically by you copying it, in addition to a judgment about the amount you are copying). You should acknowledge your sources. It may be permitted to include the work in a recorded lecture if the use is considered fair, but there is always an element of risk if you choose to do this.

What am I allowed to include in a recorded lecture?

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence allows a proportion of published copyright works (books and journals) to be copied for teaching purposes. This includes illustrations and images within the works. Scanning must be carried out by the Library to ensure the terms and conditions of this licence are complied with. Staff wishing to include copyright works in their teaching, are asked to use the Reading Lists @ LSE system to request material.

Additionally LSE have an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence, which permits the use of (and copying of) TV and radio broadcasts for educational purposes. You can also show (and copy) material from on demand TV services such as the BBC iplayer under the ERA Licence. We recommend that you use the Box of Broadcasts service for access to digitised TV and radio broadcasts.

For Creative Commons (CC) licensed material that you find online, it is likely that you will be able to include this content within a recorded lecture. Before using the material, please check the licence terms, and ensure that you provide attribution as required under the licence.

What about showing (and recording) material from commercially bought videos or DVD’s?

Commercially purchased videos and DVD’s can be shown in class for educational purposes. However, the lecture recording process will only make a low grade copy of any videos you show in class, so this is not a recommended way to make such materials available to your students.  These low grade copies are still subject to copyright, and whilst clips may be included in recordings by relying on one of the legal exceptions, substantial use of the content should not be recorded using lecture capture unless you get permission from the copyright holder.

What about showing (and recording) material from YouTube or social media?

The copyright in videos that you might show from sites such as YouTube resides with the creator of the video, so you would need to obtain permission directly from them (YouTube cannot grant this on their behalf). Some content may be available for educational use or under a CC licence; if so this should be indicated on the site, and you must ensure that you comply with any conditions of use. It may also be possible to include clips of videos from YouTube in your lectures and recordings by relying on one of the legal exceptions.

Remember that the person who uploads a video to YouTube may not be the content owner, and rather than making a copy of what may be unlicensed material, it is advised that you share the url of the resource with students via Moodle so that they can access it directly.

What about using images in my teaching?

It is very easy to download images from the Internet and include them in your presentations. Please remember that these images will almost certainly be subject to copyright. Before including an image in your presentation, consider whether its use is covered by one of the categories below. If you are unsure whether your use is permitted under copyright law, please contact LSE’s Copyright Officer for advice.

Ways that you can legally use images in your recorded lectures include:

  • Use images where the copyright has expired (e.g. public domain works)

  • Use images licensed under a Creative Commons (CC) licence – all CC licences mean the copyright owner must be attributed and there may be other restrictions on its use

  • Use images that are Open Educational Resources. See the LSE Library copyright advice page for further details of Open Educational Resources (OERs).

  • Create your own images, take your own photographs

  • Obtain permission to use them from the copyright holder

  • Use images under a copyright exception, such as ‘quotation, criticism and review’ or ‘illustration for instruction’ provided the use is considered fair and you acknowledge the owner of the work.

Can I use sound recordings in my teaching?

Commercially bought audio CDs can be used in class, but should not be included in a lecture recording, so these sections will need to be edited out from the recorded lecture.

Podcasts that you download from the web normally have an implied licence that enables you to copy and use them, as downloading them is a means of copying, so generally speaking you should be ok to use them, unless they have an accompanying statement that precludes their use.  As with all these cases, if in doubt – check.

Streamed audio from services such as the BBC Sounds service may also be used in class and can be included in your recorded lectures under the ERA Licence.

What about using material from your own/colleagues research, including tables and images?

Although it may be your work, you may have already signed away the copyright to this if you have had the research published by a journal. Any publishing agreement must be checked to see how the work can now be used.  In some cases you can use the pre-print version of the article, including the illustrations. Otherwise it may be possible to request for extracts of journal articles to be scanned by LSE Library.

Are there any other instances when you can show material you don’t own in lectures?

There are a number of other instances when you can use copyright material, including:

  • When the copyright period in the material has expired

  • When LSE owns the copyright of the material e.g. University publicity material, other learning and teaching resources produced by the University

  • When you have specific copyright clearance to use the materials in this way

You are responsible for making sure that your recorded lectures do not infringe copyright however, LSE is at risk from being sued and/or prosecuted for infringing copyright, either within recorded lectures, or by uploading materials to Moodle, or other online platforms.

Although it may be legal to use these materials within a class, it does not necessarily make it legal to include them within a recorded lecture and/or upload these to Moodle.

LSE reserve the right to remove any content from the lecture capture system in the light of any proven copyright infringements.

Where can I get further help and advice?

If you have any concerns about material you wish to use in your lectures then please see the general guidance provided by LSE Library. It is possible to edit your lecture recordings to remove content, but it is far easier to resolve issues beforehand.

For more information about the legal issues associated with recording your lectures consult the Jisc guide: Recording Lectures legal considerations.

LSE’s Copyright officer (based in the library) can also offer further help and advice.