Broadcast Content for Education

Queen’s staff can access Broadcast Content for educational purposes. Access is managed through the Educational Recording Agency (ERA - http://www.era.org.uk/) - the ERA operates a scheme on behalf of its members to license educational use of copyright protected material. The information (below) is critical for those who wish to access broadcast content.

What the licence covers

An ERA licence permits educational establishments to record off-air, and make copies, for non-commercial educational purposes, of programmes broadcast by its members. It permits electronic communication of licensed recordings within an educational establishment and off-site streamed access to recordings by all students in a class or on a course through a secure service such as QOL Sharepoint (from 1 April 2014).

In general, the licence covers scheduled free to air broadcasts on:

  • BBC television and radio
  • ITV Network services (including ITV2 and ITV3)
  • Channel Four, E4, More 4 and Film 4
  • Five Television
  • S4C
  • National Geographic
  • Open University

The current licence now also permits the use of on-demand and interactive services - such as BBC iPlayer, 4 on demand, ITV player, Demand 5 and Clic (S4C).

Extracts, as well as whole programmes, may be recorded and held indefinitely for use at any time. All recordings made under the licence must be labelled as follows:

  • Date (when the recording was made)
  • Name of the Broadcaster
  • Programme Title
  • The wording ‘This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence

Analog copies of previously recorded material may be transferred into digital formats. 


All digital formats, must be preceded by similar information as an opening credit or webpage which must be viewed or listened to before access is permitted.

UK-based registered students may borrow recordings, provided these are for educational use, but we are not allowed to supply recordings to students based overseas.

Recordings may be embedded in PowerPoint presentations as long as the Licence conditions are met.

Records of all material and their sources must be maintained and made available for inspection by ERA.

Licence restrictions

An ERA licence does not permit:

  • the performance of recordings, other than for educational purposes, in front of a private or public audience, whether or not it has made a donation or payment to see the performance.
  • the adaptation or modification of a programme. For example, separating the original soundtrack, or adding subtitles, is not allowed.
  • the copying of commercially produced, pre-recorded videos, audio tapes, CDs and DVDs 

Materials directly accessed from YouTube are not supported by the ERA Licence. The terms and conditions of YouTube refer to ‘personal use only’ and do not address the non-commercial, educational use of ERA Repertoire that is permitted under the ERA Licence when sourced as otherwise permitted by the ERA Licence.

Further Information

Further information on the ERA licence may be found at its website: http://www.era.org.uk/the-licence. A booklet outlining the terms and conditions of the licence is also available to view online or order in hard copy.

If you require further clarification on the use of ERA please contact Media Services by email at: avs.qub.ac.uk or by phone on 6499.