ISTE Video/Audio Capture Policy At NECC 2008 – A Step Backwards, Or No Big Deal?

UPDATE: 6/20 – I’ve pasted the response from ISTE to Miguel’s post about this subject below. I commend ISTE for listening to members’ concerns and responding rapidly and responsibly.

Letter from Leslie Connery

Hi Miguel – We received substantial feedback about this issue and have had great internal conversations in the last 24 hours about how best to respond. We needed to listen to and address the valid concerns of ISTE members while also protecting the rights of the people who have agreed to present at NECC. The statement below addresses how we’d like to handle this for NECC2008.

Post NECC2008, we are planning to convene a discussion around the issue of broadcasting presentations and to work together collaboratively with podcasters, bloggers, presenters, and other stakeholders to develop guidelines for NECC2009 that meet the needs of the education community. ISTE recently disseminated a code of conduct regarding video and audio recordings at NECC 2008 which has generated some thoughtful and energetic discussion.

We welcome your interest and comments and would like to clarify and amend the code of conduct for NECC 2008. For NECC 2008, ISTE’s permission is not required for non-commercial video and audio recording of sessions and workshops.

However, for NECC 2008, written permission from the session or workshop presenter is required prior to capturing a video or audio recording. Any permitted recording should respect the presenter’s rights and not be disruptive.

Under no circumstances may any length or quality of video/audio capture be used for marketing, advertising, or commercial purposes without express written permission from both the session presenter(s) and ISTE. 

Thank you. We look forward to an ongoing dialog about fair use.


Original Post Below:

Twitter was abuzz this evening after Wes Fryer and then Miguel Guhlin posted about ISTE’s new (or maybe not new) policy regarding recording audio/video of presentations and events from NECC 2008 in San Antonio next week. The policy states that to record you must have the permission of the presenter (which is fine and just common courtesy) AND permission from ISTE … which may be a problem depending on how easy and timely it is to obtain.

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.

As always, if you have any questions pertaining to your presentation or the conference in general, please feel free to contact us: For sessions,; for workshops,

This may not have emerged as such an issue except that sharing the goings-on at NECC last year via Skype, and since then the advent of USTREAM and other sharing technologies and their use at conferences since have whetted the ed-tech worlds appetite (for good reason) for quickly having access to the learning and conversations – formal and informal – that come out of a conference like NECC.

The other disconnect here is that unfettered access to information and tools on the net is supposedly  one of the goals of ISTE … it’s definitely  a goal of every ed-tech proponent I know. So this does seem like a step backward. I suspect that no one made a decision not to attend NECC this year because others would Skype and Ustream sessions. However, it sure seems that the sharing that happened last year, mostly via Skype and podcasts, probably was an incentive to many to take the plunge and experience NECC live. If this was done because those in charge are afraid that sharing over the net will cut attendance I feel they made a huge mistake …  a bad call.

I have seen some commentary that perhaps this is about ISTE covering its behind against suits over copyrighted material and they put this out there to look tough, but will really just “not notice” what may go on otherwise.

Some have started email campaigns and other forms of protest, it will be interesting if ISTE comments anytime soon, before NECC 2008 commences.

Another example of messy learning!

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4 Responses to ISTE Video/Audio Capture Policy At NECC 2008 – A Step Backwards, Or No Big Deal?

  1. I think this is a completely non-issue. Any organisation needs to cover their backs about copyright issues. I think the mistake ISTE has made is going for an opt-in approach rather than an opt-out approach. What I mean by that is that whenever I have organised conferences in the UK, I have told presenters and delegates that podcasting and taking pics is OK unless someone, eg a presenter, specifically says they do not wish it to happen.

  2. The reason, as best I can tell, isn’t copyright or “CYA.” The reality is controlling revenue streams and ensuring that NECC is the sole provider of content for the NECC2008 conference. And, that’s just wrong.

    Read other opinions:

  3. Julia Osteen says:

    It seems to me that ISTE is falling into the same trap that the music industry is experiencing now. Maybe ISTE should take a lesson from what’s going on in the music industry!

  4. What I find most ironic about this is that last fall, all 4 authors of “Using Tech with Classroom Instruction that Works” had our NECC proposals rejected for instructional strategies & technology, yet they accepted another’s Marzano & Web 2.0 proposal. (No offense to Stephanie Standifer….I know she’ll do a great job.) We didn’t make the “Intellectual Property” war-cry because we, too, believe in the openness of learning. So we let it pass and looked on to other conferences.

    This is an interesting twist and I’m curious to see how it plays out at the conference.

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