Tag: law

buffering justice

screen shot of the court set up from public video on SCTS website https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/coming-to-court/jurors

I spent some time in January doing jury duty online. I probably could have made a case to be excused but I didn’t want to.

You’ll have heard that there is a massive backlog. By establishing the UK’s first remote jury centres, from September  2020 Scotland  resumed the most serious High Court trials in a covid-secure way.

We, the jury gathered in an out of town cinema to sit, socially distanced, to hear a case via live link to the court, which I think may have been in Glasgow.

The judge reminded us that this is one of the most important things you can do as part of civic society and I can add that it is also a huge credit to the Scottish Courts system that they have managed to digitally transform their operations in this way.

‘These facilities have been specifically designed to provide a safe environment for jurors during the pandemic – and support the administration of justice in relation to the most serious criminal cases.’

I was really impressed with how well organised it was, how safe I felt covid-wise and how immersive and intense the experience was despite the distance.  I might even suggest that since the cinema business may never recover from this pandemic, this set up might be the way forward for jury trials of the future.  The prospect of being crowded in with 14 other people cheek by jowl in a jury box for a week really does not appeal.  The technology and the space afforded by the multiplex made it possible to concentrate fully on the  content and conduct of the trial.

They wouldn’t let me take a picture of the AV kit in the rooms, but It wasn’t  so different from what we are doing for hybrid teaching*. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elDTsKP2AU4&feature=youtu.be

We each had an individual camera so they could see us, but there is no 2-way audio link between the jury and the court.  That is, they can speak to us and see us, and we can see them, but we cannot speak to the court ( except via our jury wrangler and clerk of court) .

If you get called you should definitely do it if you can.

* My excellent AV team have told me which company it is who are supplying this technology to the Scottish Courts. They are called Sparq. Virtual Court Hearings | Services | Sparq


lecture recording and the law

Wise Owl from the University Collections https://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/txp932

We’ve had some questions about the legal bits of our University of Edinburgh lecture recording policy. I’m not a lawyer, but I know some good ones.

Here, thanks to our excellent Policy Officer Neil, is our explanation:

The policy task group considered the intellectual property and data protection implications extensively during development and we’re confident that the new lecture recording policy is legally compliant.  We took detailed advice from the University’s lawyers and Data Protection Officer, from the School of Law’s academic IP expert and from the ISG Copyright Service, in addition to the evolving versions of the very helpful JISC guidance.

In terms of Data Protection:

  • Uses:  The policy clearly defines and limits the purposes that a lecture recording may be used for, including an “essential purpose” of allowing the students on a Course to review their lectures.
  • Lawful basis:  We’re using legitimate interests of the University in providing the service to its staff and students as the lawful basis for processing personal data within the Media Hopper Replay service.  The Data protection Officer and lawyers were very clear that this is the appropriate basis (and that the consent lawful basis would actually not be appropriate for a number of reasons, including ensuring consent is freely given, given the power imbalance between the University and either a member of staff or a student, and some of the implications for implementing any withdrawal of consent once a recording has been made.
  • Sensitive data:  There is a clear requirement in the policy to obtain written consent from a data subject before recording sensitive personal data.
  • Retention:  There is a clear retention period and disposal policy for the recordings.

We have undertaken a Data Protection Impact Assessment and there will be an updated privacy statement for the service that will both be published in due course.

In terms of Intellectual Property:

  • Rights in recording:  The policy recognises that the University, the lecturer and any students who make a contribution to the lecture will each hold some intellectual property rights in the recording.  (The University is the producer and at least in part the director of a recording, and the lecturer holds performer’s rights in the recording.)  In a collaborative approach, these rights will be retained by the respective rights holders who will licence the University and/or the lecturer to use the recording for the defined purposes.
  • Further uses:  It spells out that the University, the lecturer, a student or anyone else may not use the recording for any other use without further agreement from all the rights holders.
  • Lecturer opt-out:  If a lecturer does not wish the University to use a recording containing their performer’s rights, they will be entitled to arrange not to make the recording in the first place.  The lecturer has complete control of whether or not to record a lecture, whether to pause recording, and whether and when to release the lecture to the students.
  • Student opt-out:  It provides for students not to be recorded or – if necessary – to request their contribution deleted, and for students to know in advance which of their lectures will or will not be recorded.  We understand there are practical limitations on keeping students out of shot in some smaller venues but haven’t seen specific problems in practice.
  • Third party copyright:  The policy reiterates the standards required in terms of permission, licence and citation when using third party copyright materials in a lecture, whether or not it’s recorded.  The  ISG Copyright Service will produce specific guidance on use of films, broadcasts or musical excerpts within recorded lectures and on openly licencing recordings if preferred.

I hope that helps.