Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Regarding Lecture Recordings

Contents

Overview

The following are the University’s Office of General Counsel answers to common copyright and intellectual property questions. For specific questions related to these topics, please contact Laura Rau Hillock (412-624-0216) at the Office of General Counsel. Note that CIDDE staff cannot advise you on your specific copyright, intellectual property, or legal situation.

Q. What do I absolutely need to know about Pitt’s policies on copyright ownership?

A. Below are three key points from Pitt’s policies on copyright ownership:

  1. Faculty and students retain ownership rights in their scholarly work unless a copyright policy exception applies.“[S]ubject to the exceptions in items 1 through 5 below, it is the policy of the University that the copyright in all materials created by University faculty, postdoctoral associates, or students (hereinafter “University Authors”) in the course of their academic responsibilities resides in the University Authors.”
  2. The University retains a license to use course materials which are normally considered scholarly work, for the University’s own non-commecial research and education purposes.“The University does retain a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license for course material created by the faculty in the course of employment. This license includes the right to create derivative works, but not the right to publish such scholarly works for dissemination outside the University.”
  3. The University owns the copyright in the recordings it makes of faculty courses and presentations (“Classroom Recordings”). Although the University owns the Classroom Recording, it will not own the faculty member’s scholarly work content contained within the recording because of the first principle set forth in 1 above.“Any applicable copyright in an audiovisual presentation of courses taught and recorded or transmitted belongs to the University. Faculty members retain a non-transferable, personal, non-exclusive license to use the recordings or broadcasts for not-for-profit educational purposes, and the courses may not be further distributed outside the University without written permission from the Provost or his/her designee. Prior to videotaping or otherwise producing an audio-visual record, written permission should be obtained from anyone who will appear in the program. Assistance in recording and transmitting courses may be obtained through the University’s Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education.”

Source: University of Pittsburgh Policy 11-02-02, Section II, Part A: “General Policy Statement.”

Q. Can I (faculty) use Classroom Recordings of my instructional activities while I am employed by the University?

A. Yes, you may use Classroom Recordings relating to your classroom presentations and activities (“Classroom Recordings”), but only for personal and non-commercial educational purposes while employed by the University of Pittsburgh (for example, for consulting or to teach at another educational institution), you must first obtain written permission from the Provost or his/her designee. Classroom Recordings made by the University of a faculty’s face-to-face teaching or recordings made as part of an online course belong to the University. The content of the Classroom Recording may not belong to the University, but the recording, which is also protected by copyright, does.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Policy 11-02-02, Section II, Part A, Item 5: “Recording, Transmission, and Related Classroom Technology.”

Q. Can I (faculty) take Classroom Recordings relating to my employment at the University if/when leave the University?

A. No, not without written permission from the Provost or his/her designee. See the question above.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Policy 11-02-02, Section II, Part A, Item 5: “Recording, Transmission, and Related Classroom Technology.”

Q. If I leave Pitt, will the University be allowed to use Course Recordings of my educational content after my departure? If so, for how long?

A. Yes. Pitt retains “a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license for course material created by the faculty in the course of employment.” This means that University can continue to use your scholarly work content which is contained in the Course Recordings in perpetuity for the University’s research or educational purposes.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Policy 11-02-02, Section II, Part A: “General Policy Statement.”

Q. Can a student share a Classroom Recording with a student at another university?

A. No, a student has no right to use the University’s recordings outside of the purpose of completing the course requirements. The University owns Classroom Recordings and the student would need a written permission from the Provost or his/her designee to share the Classroom Recording outside of the student’s course instruction. Faculty may want to put students on notice in the syllabus that Classroom Recordings are owned by the University and course content is owned by the Faculty.

Source: CIDDE: Statement on Classroom Recording.

Q. Can a student make a recording of a faculty member’s classroom instruction?

A. No, not without the consent of the faculty member. Faculty are advised to address their policy in the syllabus of whether or not a student can/cannot record a classroom activity/lecture with his/her mobile device, and the parameters of any recording. If the student records the faculty’s course content without the faculty member’s permission and then shares the recording then the faculty has a right to address this issue directly with the student as an unauthorized use of his/her course content.

The University’s Senate Educational Policy Committee issued the recommended statement on May 4, 2010 to address the issue of students recording a lecture or class session. While it is optional, the Committee recommends that faculty consider adding the statement to all course syllabi. “To ensure the free and open discussion of ideas, students may not record classroom lectures, discussion and/or activities without the advance written permission of the instructor, and any such recording properly approved in advance can be used solely for the student’s own private use.”

Source: CIDDE: Statement on Classroom Recording.

Q. Can the University sell or license Classroom Recordings containing my scholarly work?

A. No, without another written agreement, the University would not have the right to commercialize or “sell” the course content which is your scholarly work. Remember, however, the Classroom Recordings themselves do not belong to faculty, only the scholarly work content would belong to the faculty. Also remember, the “University does retain a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license for course material created by the faculty in the course of employment.” If the University did want to license Classroom Recordings containing my scholarly work, the University would need to have the faculty’s permission to do so.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Policy 11-02-02, Section II, Part A: “General Policy Statement.”

Q. Can Classroom Recordings be made part of a continuing education course (and sold as such)?

A. No, not without the appropriate permissions or licenses. The University could license its Classroom Recordings to a continuing education provider once it obtains all of the rights in the content contained within the recording. A faculty does not have the right to sell or license any Classroom Recording to a continuing education provider because the Classroom Recording belongs to the University. A faculty member may work with a continuing education provider to repurpose scholarly work owned by the faculty into a course with the continuing education provider. , The continuing education provider may then make their own recording of the faculty-owned course content with the faculty member’s license and/or permission to use their scholarly work for that purpose.

Q. If I get assigned other duties (such as I relocate to a different university or department within Pitt), can a new course director continue to use my scholarly work content contained in Classroom Recordings?

A. Yes. As stated above, the University retains a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license for course material created by the faculty in the course of employment. This retained license is for the University alone and does not allow for dissemination outside the University. The retained license also includes the right to make derivative works. This means after a faculty member leaves, an adjunct or other faculty can use and build upon a previous faculty’s course content and use that content within the University.

Q. Can part of Classroom Recordings containing my scholarly work content be used for advertisement (like promoting a particular program)?

A. Yes, since the University owns the Classroom Recordings, the department can use parts of the lecture recordings to promote the department, if it makes sense to do so and if it is consistent with the University’s research and education mission. Remember, the University retains a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license in the course material created by the faculty in the course of employment.

Q. Does the University also own the materials posted in CourseWeb (such as PowerPoints, other documents, etc.) and can Pitt use those if/when I leave?

A. Yes, the University can keep using these materials under its license, AND the faculty member can use any of the scholarly work contain he/she created and owns at the new institution. However, Classroom Recordings cannot be taken to the new institution without written permission from the Provost or his/her designee. While the faculty member may own the content contained in the Classroom Recordings, the actual Classroom Recording was made by the University using University resources. These Classroom Recordings cannot be transferred to the new institution without the Provost’s written permission.

Q. Where can I find the University’s Policies on Copyright and Intellectual Property?

A. There are multiple resources available on the topic of copyright and intellectual property. For your reference, the University’s copyright, intellectual property, and technology transfer related policies can be found at: Forms and Policies

Q. Who can I contact if I have questions about the University’s Copyright Policy and other Intellectual Property policies?

A. You can contact Laura Rau Hillock, Office of General Counsel, at 412-624-0216 or lhillock@pitt.edu, or Carolyn Weber, Office of Technology Management, at 412-383-7140 or cjweber@otm.tt.pitt.edu.