There are a number of copyright issues associated with the use of the lecture recording system and these guidelines are set out as answers to commonly asked questions.

Can I use copyright material in my lectures?

You may occasionally wish to use copyright work (e.g. an image, video clip or piece of text) belonging to another person or organisation in the course of your teaching. The law states that copying for the purposes of ‘illustration for instruction’ is permitted, provided the amount of copying is fair and appropriately acknowledged. See below for further details.

Are there any exceptions that might allow copyright works to be used?

Showing a video, such as an excerpt from a film and playing music is permitted under the law, provided it is solely for the purposes of education and the lecture is not recorded.

You may also use small amounts of copyright material for the purposes of ‘quotation, criticism and review’ and for ‘illustration for instruction’. These exceptions are subject to the ‘fair dealing’ test (which involves judging if the work might be affected economically by you copying it, in addition to a judgment about the amount you are copying). You should acknowledge your sources. It may be permitted to include the work in a recorded lecture if the use is considered fair, but there is always an element of risk if you choose to do this.

What am I allowed to include in a recorded lecture?

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence allows small amounts of published copyright works (books and journals) to be copied for teaching purposes. This includes illustrations and images within the works. Scanning must be carried out by the Library under the Scanned reading service, to ensure the terms and conditions of this licence are complied with.

Additionally LSE have an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence, which permits the use of (and copying of) TV and radio broadcasts for educational purposes. You can also show (and copy) material from on demand TV services such as the BBC iplayer under the ERA Licence. We recommend that you use the Box of Broadcasts service for access to digitised TV and radio broadcasts. Recordings acquired from this service can be recorded in lectures.

Finally if material that you find online is licensed under Creative Commons (CC) then providing you adhere to the terms of the licence, you may be able to show these material in a lecture that is being recorded.

What about showing (and recording) material from commercially bought videos or DVD’s?

The lecture recording process will only make a very low grade copy of any videos you show in class, so this is not a recommended way to make such materials available to your students.  These low grade copies are still subject to copyright and commercially purchased videos and DVD’s can be shown in class for educational purposes but substantial use of the content should not be recorded using lecture capture unless you get permission from the copyright holder.

What about showing (and recording) material from YouTube?

The copyright in videos that you might show from sites such as You Tube or iTunes U resides with the creator of the video, so you would need to obtain permission directly from them (YouTube or iTunes U cannot grant this on their behalf). Some of these materials may be available for educational use or under a CC licence.

While it may be permissible to show these recordings for educational purposes, and provide links to the material, you should exclude this content from a recorded lecture. Also be aware that the lecture recording process will only make a very low grade copy of any videos, so it is preferable to provide a link to the videos from Moodle.

What about using images in my teaching?

Although it is very easy to download images from the Internet and include them into your presentations, these images will almost certainly be subject to copyright, and unless you own the image yourself, we would not recommend you use images taken from the internet in your recorded lectures. Further information about sources of suitable images is available on the Multimedia resources page.

Examples of ways that you can legally use images in your recorded lectures include:

  • Use images where the copyright has expired (e.g. public domain works)
  • Use images licensed under a Creative Commons (CC) licence – all CC licences mean the copyright owner must be attributed and there may be other restrictions on its use
  • Use images that are Open Educational Resources. You can search Jorum to find these resources.
  • Create your own images, take your own photographs
  • Obtain permission to use them from the copyright holder
  • Use images under a copyright exception, such as ‘quotation, criticism and review’ or ‘illustration for instruction’ provided the use is considered fair and you acknowledge the owner of the work.


Can I use sound recordings in my teaching?

Commercially bought audio CDs can be used in class, but should not be included in a lecture recording, so these sections will need to be edited out from the recorded lecture.

Podcasts that you download from the web normally have an implied licence that enables you to copy and use them, as downloading them is a means of copying, so generally speaking you should be ok to use them, unless they have an accompanying statement that precludes their use.  As with all these cases, if in doubt – check.

Streamed audio from services such as the BBC iplayer Radio service may also be used in class and can be included in your recorded lectures under the ERA Licence.

What about using material from your own/colleagues research, including tables and images?

Although it may be your work, you may have already signed away the copyright to this if you have had the research published by a journal. Any publishing agreement must be checked to see how the work can now be used.  In some cases you can use the pre-print version of the article, including the illustrations. Otherwise it may be possible to request for extracts of journal articles to be scanned via the Scanned reading service offered by the Library. Queries about the e-pack service should be directed to the Teaching Support team by emailing

Are there any other instances when you can show material you don’t own in lectures?

There are a number of other instances when you can use copyright material, including:

  • When the copyright period in the material has expired
  • When LSE owns the copyright of the material e.g. University publicity material, other learning and teaching resources produced by the University
  • When you have specific copyright clearance to use the materials in this way


What are the risks associated with using copyright material?

You are responsible for making sure that your recorded lectures do not infringe copyright however, LSE is at risk from being sued and/or prosecuted for infringing copyright, either within recorded lectures, or by uploading materials to Moodle, public folders or another website.

Although it may be legal to use these materials within a class, it does not necessarily make it legal to include them within a recorded lecture and/or upload these to Moodle.

What can LSE do to help?

If you have any concerns about material you wish to use in your lectures then please contact for advice before the lecture is recorded. It is possible to edit lecture recordings within 2 weeks of the recording being made to remove content, but is far easier to resolve issues beforehand.

LSE reserve the right to remove any content from the lecture capture system in the light of any proven copyright infringements.

Where can I get further help and advice?

For further advice about copyright see LSE’s Guide to Copyright 2015. Copyright queries can be directed to:

For more information about the legal issues associated with recording your lectures consult the Jisc guide: Recording Lectures legal considerations.