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Thread: Recording Professors

  1. #1
    Regular Member karolynrgalarza's Avatar
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    Recording Professors

    I know that Virginia has a 1-person consent law to recording: § 19.2-62.2

    "2. It shall not be a criminal offense under this chapter for a person to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception."

    And I know this has nothing to do with open carry. But my professor at GMU told me today i could not record him giving us questions for a video (voice recording) because it is illegal to record and he can go to the GMU lawyers and sue anyone that does this. I know GMU is a state institution and should follow state laws, but then again they have their own exception in our VA codes not allowing lawful gun owners to carry inside of academic buildings. Does anyone know if there is a different law that does not allow us to record professors? Thanks!
    "I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers."
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karolynrgalarza View Post
    I know that Virginia has a 1-person consent law to recording: § 19.2-62.2

    "2. It shall not be a criminal offense under this chapter for a person to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception."

    And I know this has nothing to do with open carry. But my professor at GMU told me today i could not record him giving us questions for a video (voice recording) because it is illegal to record and he can go to the GMU lawyers and sue anyone that does this. I know GMU is a state institution and should follow state laws, but then again they have their own exception in our VA codes not allowing lawful gun owners to carry inside of academic buildings. Does anyone know if there is a different law that does not allow us to record professors? Thanks!
    No, there's no exception for Professors. It's pretty simple, if you're a party to the conversation or if you have the permission of a party, it's legal.

    In your situation though, there may be a school policy and since you're a student, they can discipline you based on that.
    As far as a lawsuit....you can sue anyone for anything.

  3. #3
    Regular Member karolynrgalarza's Avatar
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    I have been through the student handbook about rules and regs and have found nothing about recording. I would assume as there is a law in our state that allows this, that if someone tries to sue me for recording them, it would go no where in civil court. But then again, who knows.
    "I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers."
    ‘‘To disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.’’

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  4. #4
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karolynrgalarza View Post
    I would assume as there is a law in our state that allows this, that if someone tries to sue me for recording them, it would go no where in civil court..
    It can get expensive defending against it and if he was using the School Lawyers, the cost doesn't bother him at all.
    If it's a frivolous suit, the judge can (Not Will) order the plaintiff to pay your costs. That's a crap shoot though and should be avoided if possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karolynrgalarza View Post
    I know that Virginia has a 1-person consent law to recording: § 19.2-62.2

    "2. It shall not be a criminal offense under this chapter for a person to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception."

    And I know this has nothing to do with open carry. But my professor at GMU told me today i could not record him giving us questions for a video (voice recording) because it is illegal to record and he can go to the GMU lawyers and sue anyone that does this. I know GMU is a state institution and should follow state laws, but then again they have their own exception in our VA codes not allowing lawful gun owners to carry inside of academic buildings. Does anyone know if there is a different law that does not allow us to record professors? Thanks!
    I guess if you want to persue it, you could ask him to show you where it's illegal since the state law says it's not. He should know the schools rules and regs and if he's going to use them against you then he should be able to back it up by telling/showing you where it is. You could also go to another administrator at the school if you want. Let's be honest, just because he's a professor doesn't mean he's always telling the truth or lacking of the truth himself.
    Last edited by mohawk001; 06-13-2012 at 12:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    The OP just needs a stealthier voice recorder. The prof can't threaten or say anything about something he doesn't know about... ;-)
    “For life, liberty and Little Lizzie.” - John Connor (2005)

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    My highly biased opinion is It All Depends On To What Purpose You Are Recording.

    Ever since the invention of shorthand students have been "recording" lectures to aid in further study and in preparation for examinations. There are today literally thousands of courses you can take for credit that consist of viewing/listening to a recording of a professor's lecture from some time in the past.

    You get into intellectual property rights if you intend to or accidentally make money because of the recording. (I have no idea how that applies to the bartering of goods/services for access to your "study notes".)

    Instead of arguing with the professor you could (A) go ahead and audio record him and see if he catches on and if so what he doers about it, or (B) take his threat to sue you to his Department Chair and the Dean of Students and the University Provost as well as the Faculty Senate. See also the Academic policy item #8 at http://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/code-of-ethics.html . His threat sounds to me to be a huge violation.

    stay safe.
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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  8. #8
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk4 View Post
    The OP just needs a stealthier voice recorder. The prof can't threaten or say anything about something he doesn't know about... ;-)
    1+ don't ask don't tell!!
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    Record everything that may impact you. I record county officials all the time with a hidden voice recorder.

    One guy lied to me later; I played his voice back to him over the phone. I think he complained to his supervisor about it.

    He has been transferred out of the dept.
    Last edited by riverrat10k; 06-13-2012 at 03:14 PM.

  10. #10
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    The reason they say that is because they want to preserve their copyright to prevent someone else from publishing what they've said before they do. It's not copyrightable unless and until it becomes a "fixed expression in a tangible medium." As long as it's just words in the air, there's no copyright.

    By the way, any relation to Mary Galarza, who was at the time I last knew her, living in Colonial Beach?
    Last edited by user; 06-13-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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    Well i see 2 things you could go with here. First is take in a recorder and set it on your desk and do not turn it on, when he comes by and says you need to turn it off pick it up and place it your shirt pocket and continue on with your day. Second is you could always carry in 3 or 4 cds and ask him what if he has already been recorded would he still sue you. Both of these show no admission of recording him but it would yank his chain a bit.

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkd2006 View Post
    ... but it would yank his chain a bit.
    I always thought there was a difference between yanking someone's chain and poking them with a sharp stick. IMHO your suggestions fit more into the second category.

    But, in either case, why take that route?

    Comply with his demand that he not be recorded, which means his threat worked regardless of whether it had a legal leg to stand on or not. Take his threat to the folks in charge of dealing with professors who make threats they probably should not be making because of University policy and probably cannot carry out with any degree of success. Which to do?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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