Guidelines for Off-Air Recording for Educational Purposes
Although not laws, the federal Fair Use Guidelines for Off-Air Recording have been considered a "safe harbor" for permissible use when an instance of off-air recording by a nonprofit educational institution is not covered by a specific negotiated agreement with the copyright holder. The conditions that must be met for off-air recording to qualify as fair use are available in Section F (page 22) of the U.S. Copyright Office's Circular 21, "Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians" (PDF file).
PBS often negotiates with the producers of public television programming to allow for recording rights that extend this standard federal guideline for some programs. Please consult the extended recording rights page for an explanation of how these extended rights affect educational use of PBS programming.
Note: The content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult an attorney with expertise in copyright law for advice relating to your specific circumstances and activities.