The University holds a licence from the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) which allows staff to record television and radio programmes 'off-air' for use in teaching. The recording can be shown during any class and can also be embedded in Power Point presentations or on Canvas. Although it is quite an extensive licence, it does not cover the recording of all broadcasts.
The ERA has stated that a 'broadcast' is defined as a transmission for simultaneous and lawful reception by members of the public, i.e. it is not encrypted or encoded and is for general reception, unlike pay per view services. The ERA Licence therefore covers scheduled free to air broadcasts by:
- BBC television and radio (all channels), plus programmes owned by The Open University;
- All ITV;
- All Channel Four;
- All Five Television;
- Discovery Channel;
- National Geographic.
This means in effect that any programme from these broadcasters may be recorded off-air on University premises or at home without infringing copyright, provided that the re-showing is solely for educational purposes.
Educational establishments that hold an ERA Licence can also access and download content from on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, 4 on Demand, ITV Player, Demand 5 and Clic (S4C) in a similar way to personal private users. This applies also to podcasts. Please check the specific terms and conditions of the individual service provider for further details.
A written record needs to be kept of all copying carried out under the licence, for the purpose of monitoring such activity by the ERA. If you make your own recording, please download the proforma for ERA licence returns (Word - 34KB), complete this as appropriate, and then return within fourteen days of the recording to:
University ext 44203
All ERA recordings must be clearly and appropriately labelled. Failure to do so may lead to the licence being withdrawn.
If you make an off-air recording yourself under the licence you need to label the outer case and the tape or disc with the following four items:
- Date (when the recording was made);
- Name of the broadcaster;
- Programme title;
- The wording ‘This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of an ERA Licence’.
All ERA Recordings held in digital formats are required to display an opening credit which must be viewed or listened to before access to the ERA Recording is permitted. This must include the above programme data and the above statement referring to the ERA licence.
The Learning Resources Team in Academic Services can organise having an off-air recording made for you. To find out how to make a booking for an off-air recording of a TV programme, go to the LRAT Equipment Booking Page, login and then select "New Request" under "Off Air Recording" in the left-hand menu, then enter details in the booking form. Note that charges might apply.
Using other recordings
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 allows you to play a commercially purchased video for the purposes of instruction at an educational establishment irrespective of any copyright notices to the contrary.
For further information please see the ERA website