This is the first time I have ever seen a statement and legal requirement of this type for an educational conference, and I suspect it will not be the last. According to the current (19 June 2008) NECC 2008 Attendees Registration Overview and Confirmation page, NO ONE is permitted to make a full-length audio recording for an online podcast of any NECC 2008 conference session without the explicit, written permission of BOTH the presenter and ISTE:
In case you are not able to view the Flickr image above in your present location because of content filtering, here is the text of the policy:
VIDEO/AUDIO RECORDING CODE OF CONDUCT
Full video/audio capture of NECC sessions and activities is strictly prohibited without express written permission from BOTH: 1.) the session presenter/s, and 2.) ISTE. Those holding official ISTE-issued press credentials may capture footage for media coverage purposes only.
Amateur video/audio capture is permitted of ambient environments, informal exchanges and sessions, and sessions and activities not organized by ISTE, etc., provided that appropriate permissions have been granted by the parties affected. ISTE assumes no liability for copyright and/or intellectual property violations that may occur as a result. Amateur video/audio capture is also permitted in NECC sessions and activities provided that the length of capture does not exceed 10 minutes AND appropriate permissions have been granted by the presenter/s.
Under no circumstances may any length or quality of video/audio capture of NECC sessions be used for marketing, advertising, or commercial purposes without express written permission from BOTH: 1.) the session presenter/s, and 2.) ISTE.
This policy actually says two different things, as I understand it, which relate to full length session recordings:
- Prior WRITTEN permission is required from both ISTE and a presenter(s) to record a full length presentation for any purpose. This apparently applies even to recordings made by actual presenters of their own sessions.
- No COMMERCIAL use of any recording made at NECC can be used without ISTE and the presenter’s written permission.
Given the disruptive power of new media recording, sharing and collaboration technologies, I suppose a policy similar to this addressing these issues is inevitable. In many ways, including the NECC 2008 conference Ning and ISTE’s island in Second Life, ISTE is continuing to lead the way for advocacy of blended learning and digitally-infused professional development strategies. I hope we’ll see this policy and the ways ISTE addresses intellectual property issues continue to evolve and mature. (I feel confident we will.)
I’d like to see a set of fields for presenters which encourages and permits them to explicitly give permission to record and share their session online with audio and video included in the call for proposals. (Let presenters specifically select a Creative Commons license and other terms under which they want to share their presentation. LOTS – in my view a majority – of educators still don’t know about Creative Commons and understand how it can and should be used in education to support the open content movement.) This is what we do for the K-12 Online Conference in our call for proposals, except presenters can’t select a license, they have to agree to the one we’ve selected (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported) in order to submit. (The K12Online08 call has been extended to July 11, btw, giving everyone a week after NECC to complete them!)
To meet these NECC 2008 session podcasting requirements I have and am doing several things. First, I have created a new Podcast Permission and Release page on my blog, which includes a printable PDF form which I can use for presenters to sign face-to-face at a session, and an electronic form which can be completed by a presenter in advance. My plan (at this stage) is to flesh out my planned schedule for sessions to attend at NECC using the online conference planner, and then contact each presenter individually via email whose session I would possibly like to record and share on my podcast. I am thinking I’ll then email ISTE (unfortunately an email contact link is not yet provided on the Video/Audio Recording Code of Conduct page) with a complete list of the sessions I request permission to record and share as non-commercial podcasts. I’ll also (I guess, just to be legally safe) ask for permission to audio record and share MY OWN presentations at NECC 2008. This seems a little silly to do, but appears to be required by the verbage of the current policy.
In the past I have recorded and shared multiple presentations from NECC, but have always done so with the direct, explicit permission of the presenter and NOT ISTE. Having to obtain the permission of ISTE is something new, and will present new hurdles and challenges. It will be interesting to see what they’ll say in response to my requests.
This entire conversation over intellectual property issues and new media recording/sharing is both important and very interesting. This is similar to the conversations (and arguments) which took place at the university where I worked on staff for five years, over “who owns” the distance learning courses and course content created by faculty. This issue is still unresolved at some universities, but many have adopted policies which basically say ownership is “shared” by both the professor and the institution.
In the case of an educational conference like NECC, which is not paying “regular” session presenters anything to share their content, I question the legal basis for ISTE requiring written permission for anyone to record and share a conference session, when that recording and session is done on a non-commercial basis. In the case of a university and a professor who is developing a distance learning course, that academic professional in that case is receiving monetary compensation from the university, and as such their “work for hire” can arguably be co-owned by the paying institution as well as the educator. The situation with an academic conference is different, however. If keynote presenters and others are receiving financial compensation for their sessions, then perhaps the organization hosting the conference could lay claim to the intellectual property shared at their conference. That could be up for a lot of debate, however. I’d think the contracts keynote and spotlight speakers sign for conferences should address these issues. I may ask someone I know at EFF to share this with their lawyers and see if there are precedents to follow and know about in other conference contexts.
Again, I think this issue should be addressed directly in the call for proposals for academic conferences, where presenters are able to directly select a Creative Commons license for their conference presentation and UP FRONT specify the terms under which they are willing to allow or not allow others to record and share their work. At our recent “Survive and Thrive” single mom’s conference in Edmond, Oklahoma, conference conveners asked the Tulsa-based company Conference Resource to record and offer for sale all the presentations shared during the 2 day event. This was very cool, but I was surprised that:
- Presenters were not asked whether it was OK to record, share and SELL their presentation audio.
- The company sold audio recordings of each presenter’s session for $6 each, which was about half what they normally charge for events of this type.
Conference organizers SHOULD pursue the option of getting all sessions at an event recorded and shared, but in ALL cases presenter permission should be obtained. (This goes for amateur podcasters as well, of course.) This is particularly important if someone is going to SELL and profit from the recorded audio and/or video files. This permission-granting process is best accomplished at the front end, when presenters submit proposals. I consider it a 21st century educational conference “best practice” to solicit Creative Commons licensing terms from presenters at the outset, and then make those terms available/public on the conference website pages for each session. In addition to listing session tags for bloggers, NECC2009 can and should list whether the presenter consents to audio and/or video recording of his/her session, and the licensing terms of the content under which they are willing to share their recorded ideas.
Amidst all these discussions, I think we need to keep in mind that the ostensible goal of educational conferences and professional development events like NECC is to foster learning, personal growth, collaboration and idea sharing. Some observers (Gary Stager is the main one who comes to my mind in this context) have observed that educational technology conferences like NECC can take on more the atmosphere of a “boat show” than a learning event, and I think there is a LOT of truth to that on the vendor floor from time to time, as well as in some sessions. As leaders of different organizations, both local and national/international, we need to keep our focus on the learning and collaboration opportunities and be careful not to become focused on the “boat show” elements of conferences. Should conference attendees at NECC and other events be free to record partial or complete conference sessions and share them later as podcasts, if they receive permission from the presenters? (That is what I did last year in Atlanta with Dr. Tim Tyson following his closing keynote.) Absolutely yes! Will “we” (volunteer new-media archivists and documentarians of learning conferences) be able to do that this year at NECC 2008 in San Antonio? It looks like that answer is a qualified yes. WITH prior permission, session recording and subsequent online sharing will be possible.
I’ll discuss these issues in greater detail the week following NECC during my breakout session for the Missouri Distance Learning Association’s annual conference (on July 9th) titled “Digital Learning Objects on the Open Web.”
Now, to figure out all the sessions I want to attend at NECC this year….. 🙂
necc2008, necc, necc08, podcast, copyright, permission, audio, video, record, recording, iste, legal, property, intellectual, intellectualproperty, own, ownership, openweb, education, learning, conference, technology
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