Copying Off-Air Recordings

Off-Air Recordings

Two schemes cover the recording of radio and television broadcasts; these are:

  • Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence - which covers scheduled free to air broadcasts on BBC television and radio, ITV Network Services, Channel 4, E4, More 4 and Film 4, Five Television and S4C. 
  • Open University Licensed Off-Air Recording Scheme - which covers Open University Programmes.

These licence agreements allow us to make off-air recordings of terrestrial broadcasts.

Library Services offer an Off-Air Recording request service for all scheduled programmes covered by the ERA and Open University Licence agreements. Please contact your Subject Information Officer with the broadcast information of the programme you require. If possible please try to give at least two days notice. A DVD copy will then be sent to the library and a copy will be placed onto the LJMU networked video service server. This will enable the networked programme to be watched via a URL in the library catalogue. Academic staff can also create a URL to view the recording in Blackboard. However due to current licence restrictions these recordings will be limited to on-campus viewing only. Please allow two weeks for this process to be completed. Contact Anne Foulkes AV Technician on 8084 for more information.

Both schemes allow lecturers to record off-air programmes at home. However, Open University programmes recorded by lecturers must be deposited in the libraries and added to the library catalogue. Copies of programmes (other than Open University) may also be deposited in the libraries.

The main conditions of the ERA Licence are:

  • recordings must be for the non-commercial educational purposes of the University
  • recordings must not be edited or modified (though extracts may be recorded)
  • recordings must be marked with the date of the broadcast, the title of the recording, the name of the broadcaster, and the following statement: This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence
  • a copy may be made of a broadcast recording but not videos, etc. sold commercially
  • details of any recordings made must be kept by the relevant department or library, as this is a condition of the licence
  • recordings made under the ERA Licence may be communicated to registered students within the premises of an educational establishment. This means that recordings made under the ERA Licence may, for instance, be digitised and stored on a VLE, providing all access to that VLE is carried out whilst on campus (the digitised recording must also bear the statement given above). Off-campus access in not permitted under this licence.

The following are specifically excluded from the ERA licence:

  • Open University Programmes (radio and television). The University has a separate licence for the recording of Open University programmes
  • videos bought commercially may not be copied
  • transmissions which involve internet transmissions except: where the internet transmission takes place simultaneously with a broadcast made by traditional means, or where the transmission is of a live event, or where the internet transmission involves moving images or sounds forming part of a programme service, where the programmes transmitted are scheduled at times provided by the service provider.
  • foreign, Satellite and Cable programmes, 'On demand', and interactive communications with the public.

The main conditions of the Open University Off-Air recording licence:

  • it covers both TV and radio broadcasts made by the Open University
  • allows recordings of OU broadcasts to be retained by the University for educational purposes
  • allows up to 4 copies of each recording to be made
  • recordings must be labelled with the title of the programme and the date upon which it was recorded
  • permits the showing of OU broadcast recordings for teaching, training and study as part of a course undertaken or carried out by the University
  • recordings may be loaned to bona fide students at the University providing there is no charge for loaning or viewing the recordings
  • recordings may be digitised and stored on a VLE for on-campus access only (no off-campus access permitted).

What this licence does not allow:

  • show any OU recordings to an audience that have paid an admission fee
  • incorporate any OU recorded material into other audio-visual or electronic productions
  • digitised recordings stored on the VLE may not be accessed off-campus.

Can copies be made?

It is possible to make duplicates of programmes when the subject matter is of interest to more than one campus. For materials covered by the ERA scheme, copies can be made for Schools if required; a nominal charge may be made to cover the cost of this service. This does not apply to Open University programmes. The copying facility does not apply to commercially purchased videos. Copying such videos is illegal.

Where can the recordings be used?

The recordings are to be used for the educational purposes of the University only, whether on University premises or conducting courses elsewhere. Off-air recordings should not be sold, lent or hired to anyone else or copied on their behalf. The ERA scheme stipulates that recordings can only be used on courses where students constitute full-time equivalents.

Please also see the LJMU Networked Video Services pages for access to a range of broadcasts from your PC.



Page last modified 02 July 2013.

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