Still and not so still life (Are you in danger of being caught out?)

Posted on 25 May 2011

The media has been in a buzz of late over issues involving people being photographed or videoed while doing things that may put a person in a not-so-flattering light. Cast your mind to football personalities and the jeopardy that it places their career in for instance, and more recent and perhaps slightly less controversial is an issue involving lecturers declining to record their lectures to protect themselves from criticism of their content.

The digital age is bringing us so many fantastic resources, information and opportunities, but as with any great development it is also bringing with it some significant pitfalls. So what does this mean for you?

In our footballers example - if you wouldn’t be happy for people, including your family, co-workers, boss or your clients to see it, don’t let it be recorded. If something that you feel people you know would view in a less than flattering light has already been recorded, avoid putting recordings and images online where the damage caused is going to be so much greater. Once something is in cyberspace, it’s that much harder to bring back and/or limit your exposure. Remember – even things that seem mundane and harmless should be treated with extreme caution when placing anything online. Be careful when consenting to Terms and Conditions or giving your consent. Best case scenario – seek professional advice prior to something becoming an issue.

Also, keep in mind, when you are in public, it’s very difficult to control what happens to images/video/audio recordings made of you. Time to be on your best behaviour!

On a different note; the question of the lecturer’s copyright and intellectual property being endangered by recordings. Would you lose out if your presentation was recorded? It may be well worth seeking legal advice on your situation if you are concerned about being videoed or recorded in a professional capacity.

And what could be worse that having your work stolen? Being caught stealing somebody else’s work! That would be embarrassing and potentially costly. It’s well worth carefully reviewing your work to ensure that you aren’t plagiarising and taking extra steps to ensure that you are avoiding any copyright issues.

At a glance, it’s easy to see that these issues affect so many different areas of our daily life. So, while we do enjoy a lot of the benefits, it’s well worth walking forward in this technological age with your eyes open.