Educational Recording Agency Licence

If you need to use audio or video material for teaching and learning, copyright law affects you. Aston has an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence. The ERA operates a Licensing Scheme for educational use of copyright protected material. This allows the following non-commercial activities:

  • Recording from broadcasts made in the UK of the works and performances owned or represented by ERA members. Recordings may be made by or on behalf of an educational establishment.
  • Electronic communication of licensed recordings within an educational establishment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I record off-air?

The ERA scheme permits staff, (i.e. teachers, technicians, librarians or auxiliaries) to record broadcasts for educational use by registered students, teachers or other employees of the institution directly involved in the students’ education and covers:

  • BBC television channels and radio

  • ITV1, ITV2, and ITV3

  • Channel 4 and E4

  • Channel 5

  • S4C

The University subscribes to the BoB National off-air recording service which allows staff and students to schedule recordings 7 days before and after transmission and, as a federated system, provides access to a vast library of recordings from previous years.

Please note that Open University programmes sometimes transmitted on the above mentioned television channels are not covered by the ERA licence but a separate licence administrated by Kim Dance (k.l.dance@aston.ac.uk).

Under the terms of the ERA licence, the University is obliged to keep a record of all recordings made by staff and these must be logged with the designated person in the School/Department in the first instance so that the data is available when required for auditing purposes by MLT.

How can recordings be used?

Recordings can be used within any lecture or teaching session. Preferred access is via a link to the BoB server but material can also be stored on a University central server and accessed by staff and students within the UK. Students (and UK-based distance learning students) may take material off site on physical media but must sign a declaration to only use the material for non-commercial educational purposes. Loan or use of recordings in any media outside the UK is not permitted.

Can I alter recordings?

No. The recording must be shown as transmitted although it is permitted to show non-consecutive extracts and a clipping facility is available in BoB. Subtitles or audio addition is not allowed. However, recordings can be copied and shown either in analogue format or on-line. Recordings, or extracts of recordings, cannot be used in corporate materials and stills cannot be used on web sites or prospectuses.

Can I make extra copies?

Yes. However the ERA licence conditions must be met and no commercial element can be involved. Please note that the copying of commercially produced videos, tapes, CDs or DVDs is not authorized by the ERA scheme.

Do I need to make any acknowledgments?

Yes. All recordings must be labelled as follows:

  • Date of recording

  • Name of broadcaster

  • Programme Title

  • The wording “This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence” must be on the label.

  • Digital recordings made available electronically must include this wording on the “play” page of the VLE or equivalent.

Can I obtain copies of past transmissions?

Yes. The University is a member of the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) and copies of televised programmes since June 1998 are available on DVD or as digital files from the following channels:

BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, ITV1, Channel 4 and 5

Please note that Open University programmes/co-productions broadcast on these channels are not available under the terms of the ERA licence but are covered by a separate licence administrated by Kim Dance (k.l.dance@aston.ac.uk).


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