Campus Announcements

Primer on Photography & Videography Laws

Dear Reed Community:

I often receive questions about the legalities behind audio and video recordings of various kinds on campus. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the following information provided in consultation with Reed’s legal counsel.

Photography, audio, and video recording on campus is generally permissible, but you should be aware that different laws may apply depending on the situation.

In public areas and common spaces, there is usually no reasonable expectation of privacy. Photographing or filming without audio in these areas will generally be lawful.

In other spaces, such as private offices, dorm rooms, dressing rooms, and restrooms, people usually have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy it may be illegal and is strongly discouraged to photograph or film without the consent of all parties.

The laws concerning audio recording are different from those regarding photography and video without sound. Under ORS 165.540, you may not record a conversation unless all participants are specifically informed that the conversation is being recorded. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, it does not apply to recording with an unconcealed device at (a) public or semi-public meetings such as hearings before governmental or quasi-governmental bodies, trials, press conferences, public speeches, rallies, and sporting or other events; (b) regularly scheduled classes or similar educational activities on campus; or (c) private meetings or conferences if all participants knew or reasonably should have known the recording was being made.

Posting or publishing unauthorized photography, videography, or recordings could also be unlawful, depending on the circumstances. In addition, the publication or posting of a lawfully made recording might be unlawful if it places a person in a false light or is misleading.          

For further information, you might wish to consult online sources such as:

Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press  

Student Press Law Center  

American Society of Media Photographers  

Public Affairs-posted photography and videography protocol is in line with applicable laws.

This information is being shared as a courtesy to inform the community that there are rights and laws in regard to photography, videography, and recording. This communication is not intended as legal advice; nor is it intended to halt or reduce the community's communication or freedom of expression.  

If you have questions, feel welcome to reach out to me.

Best regards,

Mandy Heaton
Public Affairs

For more information, contact Mandy Heaton.
Submitted by Robin Tovey.
Posted on Nov 30, 2017

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Questions may be directed to Robin Tovey, communications manager. Announcements do not represent the views of Reed College.