helenlt on July 25th, 2014
It’s very easy now to create audio or video content – most smart phones include a video camera and a microphone to record audio – meaning that almost anyone could potentially be the next Steven Spielberg. Judging by the number of cat videos on Youtube, an awful lot of people have said “Challenge Accepted”.
One thing many budding Spielbergs may not have given much consideration to is copyright. Copyright in audio or video recording can be quite complex as there is often a number of layers of copyright within the recording. There is copyright in the recording itself – generally belonging to the person who made it. There is copyright in the performance and performers in the recording may also have performers’ rights. When we talk about performances and copyright, it’s not just music, dramatic, dance or other types of “creative or artistic” performances that are covered but also include interviews and public lectures. Performers’ rights include the right of the performer to consent to whether or not their performance is recorded and also how that recording is used.
Recordings can include images, music or excerpts from other film or audio clips and each of these will also be protected by copyright. In many cases, this material has been created by someone other than the performers or the person making the recording. You may need to get permission from the copyright owner to include it in your recording. There are limited provisions in the Copyright Act that will allow you to include copyright material in your recording for certain purposes such as teaching or research or study but they will often limit how the recording can be used.
If you are recording a performance of an existing work – for example a musical performance, a play or a speech – as I explained above, you may need to get permission from the copyright owner of the existing work.
So how do you manage all of these layers and complexities? Some things to think about:
- Get consent from anyone performing in your recording. The A-V Consent Deed can be used to get consent for recordings that are being made for University purposes. If you are making the record for research purposes, then the A-V Consent Deed may not be suitable – so check with us.
- If your recording includes copyright material created by other people, check to see if you can use it without seeking permission from the copyright owner. This will depend on why you are making the recording and how you intend to use.
- If you do need to seek permission then you can find out more about how to that here. If the recording is being made for University purposes, our permission service may be able to assist on your behalf.
- If you are unsure about anything copyright related, contact us for advice.
Image: Recording by Bill V.