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Skip Navigation LinksADLA Administrative Handbook > Chapter 10 - Communications Policies > 10.6 - COMMUNICATIONS GUIDELINES > 10.6.4 – Privacy and Copyright Protection Guidelines for Displaying or Livestreaming Content

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​​​Privacy and Copyright Protection Guidelines for Displaying or Livestreaming Content

The two main concerns when publishing content (e.g., photos, videos, lyrics, music scores) and livestreaming are respecting people’s right to privacy, which includes their right to control their own image and likeness and, in certain instances, protecting copyright.

Protect privacy​

Do not assume all location activities are public. Location activities can be considered private, public, or both. Certain ceremonies are much more private than others; therefore, do not assume that images of people attending every single type of event may be published on the Internet or livestreamed without obtaining permission. For instance, do not livestream or publish images of people standing in line for confession. If in doubt, consult the person in charge of the location.

Before livestreaming or publishing images taken in a public setting, determine if you need to obtain permissions. You may livestream and publish pictures taken in a public setting, such as on a public street, in a public park, or in a public building that is open to everyone at any time, as long as you do not focus on a particular person, because people have rights to their privacy. For example, a school fiesta, regular daily or Sunday Mass, is likely to be considered a public event so that those in attendance probably do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. 

Social media aggregator tools (e.g., Tagboard) require continual monitoring before any image can be shared with the audience. People can lack good judgment, so be cautious and filter images before they are displayed to the public.

Get permission from event attendees before livestreaming or publishing photos and video

First, disclose to those attending an event if you plan to livestream or to take and publish any photos or video A Disclosure Notice​ of consent to be photographed, filmed, or recorded should state that by being present, those in attendance agree to be photographed or filmed and have their image publicized. The posted notice must be prominently displayed, perhaps by using a large poster on an easel at the venue entrance of the event.

​​​​​​​​If possible, ask people in the photos or video to sign explicit waivers allowing photo or video publication. Photos or videos of people taken in private settings, such as small faith community meetings, may not be published on parish, school, or archdiocesan websites without the express written permission of the owners of the private location as well as everyone in the photos or video. See the Parent/Guardian Release for Student or Minor (Noncommercial) (English version and Spanish version​) and Adult Release (Noncommercial)​.

Respect copyrights and exclusive arrangements

Do not automatically publish professional photography or videos. Publishing photographs or videos of weddings and other events taken by an official photographer may involve contractual issues of copyright and infringement on exclusive arrangements for publicity. Publishing these photos or videos must be decided on a case-by-case basis and only after consultation with the families and professional photographers.​

​Additional Considerations for Recording or Publishing Videos, Displaying Music and Livestreaming

Publishing video recordings, regardless of their nature (e.g., livestreaming), raises a number of issues depending on the content of the video. Using music, text, images, and other content in the composition of the video recording often requires permissions and licenses​.  ​​

  • For example, a location video records a parish choir singing at a Christmas concert and the words and score are projected on a screen in the sanctuary. If the choir performed music written and published by the music director or a member of the choir, the location can simply ask that person for permission to publish the video, preferably in writing.

  • If the choir performed music composed by someone who still retains the copyright, determine what permissions were granted to the choir by the copyright holder(s), who could be the original composer or someone else who purchased the rights. With music, copyrights may be held by the composer, lyricist, arranger, and/or music publisher. The copyright holder(s) could have limited permission to one performance in church only, with or without permission to record. Or the copyright holder(s) could have granted a much broader permission, which includes the right to post the performance on the Internet. If the copyright holder(s) did not include permission to post on the Internet, the location must obtain permission in writing before publishing. It’s possible that the location will have to pay royalty fees.  

  • ​Onthe other hand, if the choir performed music by Handel or Bach that wasn’t a special musical arrangement by a current copyright holder, there is no copyright. For works created after 1978, the copyright exists for as long as the life of the creator plus 70 years. For works created in the late 19th century though 1977, the laws are complex. It’s safest to assume that songs are copyrighted and obtain permission.

The location should also determine if the choir obtained permission to display the written score on the screen in the sanctuary. Usually, the publisher of a music score is different from the composer, and the publisher has its own rights, including the right to limit display and republication. Therefore, if the Location has obtained the right to display the score, check if that right includes the right to record on video and to republish on the Internet. If not, obtain permission and pay any required fees and royalties.

Locations must obtain proper licenses or permissions for all materials used in a video production. This includes materials such as graphics, background music, plays, speakers, and other performers that may be incorporated into a video recording. The archdiocese has made arrangements with One License for locations to obtain the rights to livestream certain copyrighted materials.  Information about this arrangement can be found at the LA Catholic site: One License.​

For additional information, see the Music Copyright and ​Gui​​des to Licensing.  The University of Texas​ Libraries website has a thorough guide on how t​o obtain copyright permissions​ for a wide range of materials.​

Locations should also ask for and obtain permission in writing from the person(s) who made the video recording. They, too, have a copyright that must be respected. If the Location decides to retain its own videographer to record the event, use the Vide​o Production Agreement​ to determine who owns the rights.​​

Protect privacy

Do not publish any personally identifying information about any minors​ without the written consent of the parents/guardians; see the Parent/Guardian Release for Student or Minor (Noncommercial) (English version and Spanish version​).

Do not publish any personally identifying information -- see Section 10.3.2(4)​ -- about any adult without that person’s written consent; see the Adult Release (Noncommercial).​​

To obtain consent, an event organizer can include a notice that photographs or videos will be shared on the internet in the registration materials, the event program, on tickets or on other materials that are accessed and read by the participants.   For example, the notice may state: "Attendees at the event may be photographed, filmed and/or audio recorded as members of the audience. By attending this event you give your consent to being photographed, filmed or recorded and you agree that the photographs, films or recordings may be used by the event organizers in any form and in all forums for all lawful purposes."

If an event is being video recorded, make sure that a sign of reasonable size (minimum 8.5" x 11") is posted in a visible location, disclosing that videos may be published on the Internet; see the Disclosure No​tice Sample​​. If a notice was not posted, do not publish video recordings that include people who are identifiable; they have a right of privacy and should give their permission before their faces are posted on the Internet. ​

4-27-21, 5-27-21, 11-23-21