In December, the University of Missouri policy issued a policy that restricts students’ right to share lecture recordings. The policy was issued in response to a posted lecture from a UM-KC student. The video was edited to suggest the professor advocated union violence, said MU Journalism associate professor Charles Davis.
The bill sponsor, Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, said some UM students complained that the policy would inhibit their willingness and ability to learn. Curtman said although he understood why university made that policy, it was a legislator’s responsibility to make laws that serve people’s rights best.
Curtman said students might enjoy sharing their recordings with their families, and some times students.
“This bill would allow students to continue their recording habits and sharing recordings with public in personal use only,” Curtman said. “The bill does protect intellectual property rights and copy rights laws.”
Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, said the university might need to reconsider their policy but a legislator should not be involved in the University’s decision making.
“We tried to value the independency of the university. I’m not saying it is not a good bill, but I really think the state government should stay out of it,” Webber said.
Davis supported Curtman's bill and called the original UM policy “a solution in search of a problem.”
"I think faculty, particularly, in a digital age, have to be able to engage with students and meet with where they live, and they live on line," Davis said. “They live in digital spaces where this sort of sharing and video recording is absolutely common place.”
Chairman of the UM Board of Curators David Bradley said the university administration officers made the right decision, and the university’s current policy for recording lectures was reasonable.
“I think it’s a potential for abuse of it. And so I think that's why they put some restricts on it,” Bradley said. “The university policy still allows student to record lectures and to share recordings with the class. Students paid tuition to go to the class, I’m not sure it should be shared with the general public.”
Curtman said there was no hearing planned yet on his bill.
Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.