I am a college student and tried to record a professor’s lecture without permission by my smart phone. On the very first day of recording, he found it out and strongly requested me to delete the audio-recorded file of the lecture, but I refused to delete it because I live in a one-party consent state. He took my phone from me and kept it for a while although he did not delete it by himself. He did not use or manipulate the phone because I was next to him.
That is not coercion. It could be conversion but it sounds like he gave it back. Let's assume you have a case, what are your damages? Many schools have rules against recording lectures. Your situation sounds like something to deal with at your college - not the courts.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
This isn't a privacy law question. The school may have specific rules regarding recording of lectures. The professor also may have specific rules in order to try to protect what they deem to be their own, or the university's intellectual property (i.e. the lectures themselves). There is intrinsic value in the material in the lectures, whether sold to students who missed the class, or in the theories posited by the professor, so the protection of the IP of the professor or university is really the underlying issues.
YES, you attend in a single-party consent jurisdiction, but if your contract to attend the school waives that right, then you may be in the wrong, and could actually be booted from the school for violation of their policies. Attending the school is a contractual agreement with the school, and it is not unusual for them to jealously guard their intellectual property.
You've suffered no legal harm that I can discern here. I recommend checking the schools policies on recording lectures (as well as any stated on the syllabus) and abiding by those rules. If it is a matter of recording them to transcribe due to some learning disability, then I would speak to the professor or administration about an accommodation for that purpose.
This does not constitute legal advice or the engagement of my services as an attorney.
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Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
You're missing a fundamental principle.
The one-party consent rule makes a "mechanical overhearing of a conversation" unlawful unless one party consents. That prohibition against recordings does NOT mean, however, that everyone in New York must permit their conversations to be recorded. In short, the one-party consent rule does not grant anyone any RIGHT to record -- it simply makes lawful a recording when one party consents. If the other party objects then the recording party must stop.
The school you attend, therefore, can set whatever rules it wants for the recording of its lectures and can enforce its rule without any reference at all to the one-party consent rule.
The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
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