Educational Recording Agency licence

The University holds an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence that permits staff to record, for non-commercial educational purposes, broadcast output of ERA's Members.

We also hold an ERA Plus Licence, which enables licensed ERA Recordings to be accessed by students and staff online whether they are on the premises of the University, at home or working elsewhere within the UK.

What Licensees Can Record

The ERA Scheme permits recordings of broadcasts to be made for non-commercial educational use. A 'broadcast' is defined as a transmission for simultaneous and lawful reception by members of the public i.e. it is not encrypted or encoded and is for general reception, unlike pay per view services. The ERA Licence therefore covers scheduled free to air broadcasts on:

  • BBC television and radio
  • ITV Network services (including ITV2 and ITV3)
  • Channel Four and E4
  • Five television
  • S4C

It also applies to any other licensed broadcast services. These cover both radio and television services.

ERA Label Requirements

All recordings, or copies of recordings must be clearly and appropriately labelled. Always label or mark up the cassette or jewel case plus the tape or disc itself with the four following items:

  • Date (when the recording was made)
  • Name of the broadcaster
  • Programme title
  • The wording 'This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence'.

ERA website

Open University membership

ERA has admitted Open University Worldwide Limited to ERA membership with effect from 1 July 2013. This means that ERA licensees will now be able to treat the repertoire previously licenced separately under OU off-air licences as being available to become ERA Recordings covered by ERA Licences and ERA Plus Licences.

Further information on this is available at the link below.


Further information

For further information on the University's ERA licence, please use the contact details below.

Jim McGeorge

Head of USG Planning and Programmes

  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details