Copyrighted Materials: Off-Air Recording of Broadcasts

Institutional Integrity
Academic Technology
(541) 463-3355
Primary Contact: 
Bill Schuetz
Contact Email: 
Responsible Executive Authority: 
Chief Information Officer

This procedure describes the practice to be followed within the college with regard to off-air recording of broadcasts. Off-air guidelines are specific and strict. This procedure assures compliance with the law and protects the college from legal entanglements resulting from potential abuses of others.



Off-air guidelines are specific and strict and, in order to assure compliance with the law and to protect the college from legal entanglements resulting from potential abuses of others, this policy delineates practice and procedure to be followed within the college.

  1. Guideline Compliance.   All off-air recording of television broadcast programming must comply with Copyright Law of the United States of America (Title 17).

  2. Guideline Basics.  The off-air guidelines include the following basics.
    1. A program may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission, including simultaneous cable retransmission, and retained by a non-profit educational institution for 45 calendar days.
    2. Off-air recordings may be used once by individual instructors for relevant teaching activities and may be used once for instructional reinforcement for the same students during the first ten school days of the 45 calendar days.
    3. Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of, and used by, an individual instructor.
    4. After the ten consecutive school days, off-air recordings can be used only for evaluative purposes by the instructor, to the end of the 45 calendar days.
    5. After the 45 calendar day period, all off-air programs will be erased, unless a license is secured or written permission to retain it is received from the copyright owner.  The instructor is responsible for writing any letters concerning copyright clearances (see #5 below).
    6. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program, as recorded.Recordings may not be altered in any way or edited to create an anthology or compliation
    7. Any recording for which there is no letter of permission from the copyright owner, or no license, will be erased at the appropriate time.

  3. The Fair Use Doctrine. The Fair Use Doctrine describes circumstances in which usage of off-air broadcasts may be permissible for educators.

  4. Program Documentation.  All off-air programs that are recorded for educational purposes, at or under the auspices of the college by Academic Technology (Media Services), will be documented.   Documentation included with the recording will be the program title, day and time recorded and a notice indicating that the recording must be erased after 45 days unless copyright permission or license is obtained.  The purpose of this is to insure compliance with the federal guidelines. 

  5. Instructor Responsibilities.  The responsibility of off-air recording by an instructor on their own equipment belongs to the instructor, and the college assumes no responsibility for any instructional practice for which guideline compliance is violated.  The instructor  also assumes the responsibility for securing copyright clearance for programs not available for license.

Commercially produced recordings (DVD/VHS) purchased by the Library or  Academic Technology, will be used within the college for educational purposes in compliance with Section 111 of the Copyright Law (Public Law 94-553), which requires performance or display of a work by instructors or students to be in face-to-face teaching activities of a non-profit educational institution in a classroom, or a similar place devoted to instruction. 


  1. Congressional Record, October 14, 1981, pp. E4750-4752,   U.S. House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Courts, Civil Liberties and  Administration of Justice;

  2. Circular 21, Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians, United States Copyright Office, rev. August 2014, pp. 23-24.
Date Adopted: 
Saturday, May 1, 1999
Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015