Ethical Issues
 DVE Home
 Basics
 Equipment
 Checklists
 Shooting Tips
 Future
Developments

Ethical Issues

Generally it is legal to tape public behavior in a public space (e.g. a speakerat an outdoor rally that anyone can participate in). A classroom is a privatespace, and therefore requires consent. Taping a private conversation in apublic space is not legal either. All private taping requires written consent.Consult with Human Subjects Review Board. While few cases ever get to lawyers, one rule to follow is that if you can get consent, you should. For example, if you are asking people in depth questions at a public event, the courts are likely to require consent for the use of the recordings in a commercial context. In practice only projects like broadcast magazine shows get releases at public events.

Ethical guidelines for distribution of video on computer networks, ordistribution via CD-ROM are non-existant. The laws developed for broadcast television may or may not apply. Think carefully and get legal advicebefore proceeding.

Issues in informed consent:

  • subjects free to refuse?
  • subject understand use of tapes?
  • subject may request destruction of tape?

Recommend getting progressive levels of consent, as necessary

  • small research group only
  • scientific conferences and meetings
  • general broadcast
  • NDEC has release forms online

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.

Copyright 1997 NCSA & NCREL,. All rights reserved.