video law

The Legalities of Capturing Videos

Taking movies without permission may appear to be a minor transgression if you are unaware of the gravity of the situation; however, this is a very serious offence. First, we’ll explain why it’s wrong and what legal action can be taken. Then, we’ll propose some solutions to put an end to the practise of illegally filming videos. First, we will define illegal video recording, and then we will discuss several common scenarios in which it occurs.

What are the reasons for the prohibition on videotaping certain actions?

Illegal activity includes making a video recording of a subject without their permission or in violation of a previously made agreement. This would be illegal video recording or screenshotting of content that you are not authorised to record.

Illegal video recording for personal purposes is not impossible. On the other hand, this is a common practise among filmmakers in order to disseminate the illegal content that they are filming. There’s a chance they’ll release the tapes to the public, but it’s also possible they’ll keep them to themselves.
When would someone make a video without first obtaining permission?

People are notorious for seizing any opportunity to film offensive material covertly. The cinema is probably the most well-known setting for something like this to occur. Before entering a cinema, it is customary to conceal any and all electronic devices, particularly those capable of recording video. This rule applies to those who bring their own personal electronics. Without permission, you won’t be able to sneak away and start shooting.

Naturally, if you don’t own a movie theatre, you’re unlikely to come across this type of illegal recording very often.

Conversations in the workplace, such as teleconferences and phone calls, may be secretly recorded. If your small business’s phone service provider offers video conferencing, employees may make private copies of these discussions or make them less secure by sharing them online, whichever option is available.

Companies may also hold events, and these events may or may not be filmed without permission. To give one example, it is not difficult to film a presentation or a workshop without the permission of the organisers. To put it another way, whether a performance is broadcast live or recorded, there is always the possibility of an unauthorised recording being made.

Now that this has been established, let’s look at the legal ramifications of covert video recording.

The imposition of monetary fines for intellectual property rights infringement

Depending on the content of the video being illegally filmed, the person who is filming it without permission may be in violation of copyright laws.

Even though these are typically handled as civil matters, a magistrate’s court has the authority to impose fines of up to £50,000 or even a term of up to six months in jail for copyright violations. If the case is heard in the Crown Court, the defendant faces up to ten years in prison and an unlimited fine if convicted. If the authors believe they have suffered financial loss as a result of unauthorised use of their work, they have the legal right to file a claim for damages and seek compensation.

Consider a presentation that will be given at a business meeting. That presentation will be given by one of the speakers. If they transfer content from the book without permission and someone else records it, they risk facing legal action for copyright infringement.

Furthermore, if the ideas delivered in a presentation are related to the speaker’s contributions to your organisation, the speaker may consider the ideas to be their own intellectual property (IP). In this scenario, recording the statements and distributing them without the speaker’s permission is also an infringement on the speaker’s intellectual property rights.

When illegally obtained video is shared with others, the situation becomes extremely problematic. This is especially true for content behind a paywall.

If you gave a presentation and someone else profited from your ideas without your permission or knowledge, this would be a serious violation of intellectual property laws, and it would be considered a severe violation of those laws.

Visit the aforementioned page for more information on how to protect others’ intellectual property rights and avoid infringing on those rights.

Safeguarding one’s privacy and data

Filming another person without their permission is not a crime in the United Kingdom unless the person doing the filming has malicious intent. It is unreasonable to expect to be able to maintain one’s privacy in public places such as parks and streets.

According to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, everyone has the right to the protection of their home and family life. An individual’s ability to protect their likeness is contingent on their ability to establish that their right to privacy has been violated (eg if a video was taken in a private setting where they had an expectation of privacy).

Museums, restaurants, and shopping malls, contrary to popular belief, are not open to the general public. Obtaining a model release signed by all parties involved is the quickest and easiest way to avoid legal trouble in this situation.

Furthermore, under UK data protection legislation, any form of material that includes identifiable people, including but not limited to movies or photographs, is protected. This data protection framework, which can be found here, grants a number of rights to individuals whose data is being collected. Furthermore, it imposes a number of legal obligations on collectors (eg your business).

If you require any additional information, please see Model Release Letters and Image Rights.

Infringement on the owner’s intellectual property as a result of unauthorised use of music

If you use music protected by intellectual property laws in a video without permission and do not have the necessary authority (such as a use licence), you may face legal consequences. This could include a fine or even time in jail. Before producing and releasing a video that contains copyrighted music, it is prudent to locate the legitimate owner of the song and negotiate a fair use licence with them. Any such contract must specify the various ways in which the music can be used, as well as the various ways in which the owner of the copyright will be compensated. Keep in mind that intellectual property protection includes moral rights.

The Effects of Plundering

The illegal practise of capturing videos on one’s own device is strongly linked to video piracy. This occurrence can be explained by the small number of people who engage in illegal recording practises solely to satisfy their own private consumption needs.

When people distribute and distribute video content online, they frequently violate other legal agreements, just as they do when they illegally distribute music online. Similarly, when illegally distributing music online, people frequently violate other legal agreements. It makes no difference whether someone is willing to perform this activity for free or for a fee; the fact that it is illegal remains unaffected.

There are no legal restrictions on file-sharing networks that use the peer-to-peer model. When this content is consumed, the artists who created it receive no monetary compensation for their efforts.

The practise of distributing unauthorised copies of a video without first obtaining permission from its creator is referred to as bootlegging. Those found guilty of distributing audiovisual content without the necessary licencing face a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

Advice on how to make it illegal to film videos without permission.

Now that we understand why unauthorised video recording is such a big deal, it’s time to look at the bright side of the situation. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at some of the best tips you can use to reduce the chances of an unauthorised video recording being made.

Take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your communication lines.

The majority of software can be used with safety measures, but the specifics vary depending on the application.

For example, when configuring a conference bridge, you can include safeguards that make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to record the meeting. Disabling screen capture is one method used by a number of services to make it more difficult to covertly record high-quality video.

Individuals who intend to record will find it much more difficult to carry out their schemes if your communication connections are protected from unauthorised video recording. Because they’d have to invest in a camera and manually record their screen to create the video, it wouldn’t be suitable for widespread distribution.

Make certain that the personnel are properly trained.

The most effective way to reduce the likelihood of unauthorised video recording at your company is to provide relevant training to all of your employees. Workers who have been adequately educated on the subject of illegal video recording will be able to identify the telltale signs when they see them. They will know what to do in that situation, as well as how to prevent something similar from happening in the future. To put it another way, if you provide appropriate training to your employees, you will have a powerful tool to combat unauthorised recording. As a result, it is critical to include training as a key component of your organization’s strategy for managing both its people and its infrastructure.

Create guidelines to prevent people from recording sound without permission.

To begin, rules must be established in order for them to be broken later. You can impose strict procedures to prevent anyone from recording without your permission. These make your opposition to the behaviour abundantly clear and may include stipulations for the penalties to be imposed on those found guilty of participating in the activity. If you require a policy tailored to your specific needs, you should consult with an attorney.

If you use the right process management software, you can make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for an unauthorised third party to capture your digital actions. A similar strategy could be used to put a stop to any and all covert video filming that occurs within your organisation.

Provide Trustworthy Video Evidence

There is less incentive to secretly film videos without permission now that they can be downloaded for free. Allowing authorised individuals access to any legal recordings you have made of your products makes it much more difficult for someone to covertly film them.

It is simple to set up screen recording software, which allows for productive online meetings or discussions. After the meeting, you can have the tape distributed to everyone in attendance so that they can refer to it whenever they need to. If your company does not currently have conferencing software, holding meetings in person may present some additional challenges. In that case, all you have to do is use the programme on your device to record the events, and then email the video once they are complete.

Important Factors to Consider

Despite the possibility of legal repercussions, some people may continue to illegally take videos using various methods. If you were the subject of an illegal video recording, you can always file a report with the appropriate authorities to receive assistance in retrieving the content and stopping its distribution.

However, if we take the necessary precautions, we shouldn’t have to worry about it reaching that point.

You now understand the potential consequences of being filmed without your permission, as well as the steps you can take to protect your legal rights. If you have reason to believe that a friend or acquaintance of yours is engaging in illegal videography, you should speak with them as soon as possible to discuss the implications of their actions.


By HH Solicitors in North Shields