Lecture Capture Guidance

*COVID-19 (coronavirus): 9 March 2020

The University Executive Board resolved on Monday that with immediate effect all lectures which can be captured using Panopto, the University’s lecture capture system, must be recorded, retained and made available for students. This is part of the contingency planning aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, and aims to minimise disadvantage to students who are unable to attend lectures.
Appropriate consents will be obtained, and, for the avoidance of doubt, no recording will be used during periods of industrial action without the consent of the lecturer involved.


The University has an institutional system Panopto that enables tutors to record lectures and make them available to their students via the institutional Virtual Learning Environment Blackboard.

There are many educational benefits in recording lectures, training sessions or pre-recorded content which can be viewed by students on or off campus from a variety of desktop and mobile devices. However, recorded content raises additional issues that do not occur with traditional teaching and this guidance document aims to address these.

This Guidance may be amended by the University in future and/or for other projects.


Ownership of the recordings and other copyright works (for example presentation slides) created by the tutor for inclusion in the recording will be determined in accordance with the University’s Intellectual Property Regulations, as amended from time to time.

Tutors who use Panopto must enter into an agreement with the University which grants the University rights over various copyright works and related rights existing in the recordings, which are otherwise not covered by the University’s Intellectual Property Regulations. Users of the Panopto Service will be required to accept these terms and conditions electronically via a tick box in order to access the Service.

Students must be informed if a lecture is being recorded, using a visual or verbal notice. An example of a visual notice can be found at Appendix A.

Tutors must not include third-party copyright material in their recordings unless there is a written agreement in place between the University and the third party permitting this. Tutors should instead refer students to the source of the material so this can be accessed by students at a later date.

Recordings are only provided as a supplement to live lectures and there is no obligation for the University to provide them to students.*

Various rights in the Recordings

The University’s Intellectual Property Regulations[1] form part of the conditions of employment for staff. The recording and other copyright works (e.g. literary, dramatic, musical, artistic work, or a film), created by the tutor for inclusion in the recording, unless covered by clause 3.1.1, are works specifically commissioned by the University. The ownership of copyright in these works will be determined in accordance with the University’s Intellectual Property Regulations, as amended from time to time.

In certain circumstances, delivery of a lecture may qualify as a performance (as defined by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 UK[2] ) (the “CDPA”) and where this is the case, the tutor will have a separate distinct right known as a performer’s right. This exists apart from copyright and is also a property right that can be dealt with in the same way as any other intellectual property right and it can therefore be licensed or assigned by the tutor. The agreement which you are asked to enter in before using Panopto makes it clear that you are expressly giving your consent to the University to make the recording(s) of your lecture and to subsequently make those recordings available to students.

Addressing Concerns

One of the concerns frequently voiced by tutors about lecture capture is the possibility that their recorded lectures will continue to be used after they have left the University and that older recordings with out-of-date information could damage their academic reputation.

The Panopto lecture capture system is managed by iSolutions. In order to access the Panopto recorder, tutors will need to electronically agree to the terms and conditions of the agreement with the University. Tutors retain control over which of their sessions are recorded and the nature and frequency of the recording. Tutors may remove the recordings they have placed on Blackboard at any time but should give students reasonable notice before doing so.

If tutors do not remove the recording themselves, the period the University may keep a recording under the Agreement will start from the date the recording is made and last until the end of the following academic year. For example, a recording made in November 2010 could be used until September 2012, the end of Semester 2 the following academic year. In practice, iSolutions will implement a procedure during the summer vacation each year to automatically delete all recordings that have ‘expired’. The deletion of old recordings will also help iSolutions manage the disk storage required.

It will of course be possible for tutors to extend the availability of their recordings, at their discretion and subject to storage capacities, by agreement with the University.

iSolutions will give notice to tutors that recordings from a particular academic year are about to be deleted and provide instructions on how these recording may be kept.

Gaining the Consent of Students

It is important that tutors alert students to the fact that a lecture is being recorded. The lecture capture system only focuses on the tutor (or presenter) so students will not ordinarily be recorded although any questions or comments they make during the lecture will be recorded.

There are several ways in which students may be informed that a lecture is being recorded. The easiest method would be for the tutor to make an announcement at the beginning of the lecture being recorded. The announcement itself should also be recorded. The tutor could also include a PowerPoint slide at the beginning of a lecture that reminds students about the recording. An example can be found at Appendix A.

Where students are asked to give formal presentations or make substantial contributions during the course of the lecture being recorded, such that their contributions could also give rise to independent performance rights, the tutor will need to ensure that a written agreement is obtained from the students concerned before the lecture takes place. If this is not possible, these sessions should not be recorded.

Inclusion of Material which is not owned by or licensed to the University

As set out in the University’s Intellectual Property Regulations, it is the responsibility of each staff member not to infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties.

Third party rights are any rights which a party (other than the University or tutor) has in a work included in the recording. This extends to all forms of intellectual property and related rights. However, the most likely third party right you will encounter is copyright.

Tutors should not include third-party copyright material in their lecture recordings unless there is a written agreement in place between the University and the third party permitting this. Please consult with Legal Services in good time if you are unsure whether there is an agreement in place between the University and a third party (such as a relevant collecting society) which will permit you to use their material (or materials which have been licensed to them) in the recorded lecture. Any permission you obtain to use a work in the course of delivering a lecture face to face, will specifically need to mention that permission has been given to publish it in the University’s virtual learning environment or on our website for the time that the recording will be accessible to students. This is in keeping with the University’s strong views about the value of intellectual property (IP) and the importance of academic integrity.

For example, tutors should not: copy-and-paste images or articles they find on the web or through journals into their PowerPoint presentations, use music in their lecture or copy film extracts. If you find content on a website please ensure you read the terms carefully before using this in the recorded lecture. If you are unsure what use is permitted, please contact the website owner for permission, clearly setting out what content you would like to use and how you would like to use it and specifically mention that the lecture will be recorded and disseminated to students online, alternatively consult with Legal Services in good time.

For example, Sky website says this under its Terms and Conditions: “All copyright, trade marks and all other intellectual property rights in all material or content supplied as part of the Sky Site shall remain at all times vested in Us or Our licensors. You are permitted to use this material or content only as expressly authorised in writing by Us or Our licensors. You will not, and You will not assist or facilitate any third party to, copy, reproduce, transmit, distribute, frame, commercially exploit or create derivative works of such material or content.” This makes it clear that you must not use any content on the Sky site in the recording.

Material from published works such as books and journal articles can be problematic. The University’s Agreement with the Copyright Licensing Agency will need to be complied with, which includes limits on what or how much of the work may be copied, appropriate acknowledgment, sufficient reporting and only making it available via secure access to students on that particular course of study. Please consult http://www.southampton.ac.uk/library/services/digitisation.html for more information.

Since the permitted acts and exceptions contained in the CDPA which are ordinarily available for the delivery of a lecture face to face are unlikely to apply where a lecture is recorded and subsequently made available on-line; please pause the recording when showing this material to the students in class.

As an example and by no means a complete list, tutors should avoid recording any of the following materials (unless specific written permission has been obtained):

  • Any images, photos, charts or diagrams ;
  • Web pages from any website outside the University;
  • PDF journal articles or similar online publications;
  • Online videos such as those on YouTube or iPlayer;
  • Any commercial music or video recording, whether from CD, DVD or online.

This guidance document should be read in conjunction with the University’s:

  1. Intellectual Property Regulations;
  2. Regulations relating to the use of services provided by iSolutions https://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/regs.page
  3. Electronic Communications Policy
  4. Data Protection Policy

Data Protection & Confidentiality

It is vital that lectures and recordings of lectures in subjects such as medicine, health sciences, social sciences and education do not include any details about individuals unless the tutor has their explicit written consent. Professional standards require privacy and confidentiality to be maintained at all times and individual cases should never be discussed in class in such a way that the individuals concerned could be identified.

Note that it is possible to inadvertently breach confidentiality with a recording. For example, a student may come up to the tutor at the end of a lecture and discuss a confidential health or family issue, and that discussion can be accidentally recorded because the tutor has not yet stopped the recording. All tutors should know how to use the Panopto software to ensure that a recording is made unavailable with immediate effect. The recording must then be edited to remove the private discussion before it is made available to students.

The status and accessibility of recordings

Tutors are currently under no obligation to record their lectures.*

Tutors may encounter technical issues that prevent the lecture being recorded, forget to start recording or fail to resume after a pause. These events are unfortunate, but not critical.*

Students should be aware that recorded lectures are only available as a supplement to live lectures, and there is no obligation for the University to provide them.*

Other Sources of Guidance

JISC Legal Services have published guidelines on the legal considerations of recording lectures for UK FE and HE institutions. This can be accessed at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/recording-lectures-legal-considerations

Appendix A: PowerPoint slide

At the start of each lecture, tutors can include this slide as a reminder to students:

This lecture is being recorded. It will be available via Blackboard later today. If you ask a question or make a comment, your voice may appear in the recording. Ask me to pause the recording if you do not want your question or comment recorded
Lecture recording slide example

The graphic is also used on a poster which should be displayed in rooms that offer lecture capture.

The slide and poster can be downloaded from EdShare at http://www.edshare.soton.ac.uk/5835/

Revision History

  1. Draft reviewed and released by Legal Services 5 Nov 2010 (5262)
  2. Updated by iSolutions November 2012
  3. Updated by iSolutions May 2013
  4. Not updated, but moved to elearn.southampton.ac.uk September 2016
  5. Update by legal services 10 March 2020

[1] Available online at http://www.calendar.soton.ac.uk/sectionIV/ipr.html

[2] Available online at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880048_en_1.htm