No Matter What Emily Post Says, Check Recording Laws

Suzanne Bowen : Monetizing IP Communications
Suzanne Bowen
32 yrs in telecom, teaching, blog & grant writing, biz development, marketing, & PR. Favorite moments in life involve time w/ family & friends, networking, IP communications industry verticals & horizontals, running, traveling, foreign languages
| 1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition..." Barack Obama ..... 2. "One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." By Thomas Sowell

No Matter What Emily Post Says, Check Recording Laws

The first thing I learned to read, around age five, was everything on a box of Kellog's Corn Flakes. From there on, I was doomed or empowered? ;-) I studied Emily Post, the Hardy Boys, encyclopedias, a book about nuns I found in my Dad's office ... Everyone who attended the social networking session I participated in at ITEXPO East 2010, heard my story about encyclopedias motivating me to dig a hole to China. Many a time, a book was removed from my lap at school, and I was told, "Do another worksheet." 

Today, I still read at every chance. I guess that's one of the main reasons I like social networking: reading people and learning from them. Brendan I. Koerner is Mr. KnowItAll of Wired magazine. I read his column regularly. He completed an answer to one of his questions with, "Just how badly do you want to be the Rosa Parks of iPhone recording?"

Did you know that in thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia of the United States of America, only one party needs to give consent in an audio or video recording session? This would mean the person or persons you are recording in these areas do not have to give you their permission before you tape them. In another twelve (California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington,) everyone involved has to give consent. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's website gives complete details. "Everyone" means that where there are two or more than two people involved in the conversation, all must consent to the taping.

What constitutes consent?

But, wait, none of this means that, as long as you the "recorder" give consent, you can record anyone you want in the other thirty-eight and D.C. It is actually "almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear." So, which is true in the thrity-eight states and D.C.? As long as one party gives consenter, the recorder? Or must you always get consent to tape first?

The practical guide to taping phone calls and in-person conversations in the 50 states and D.C. include state-by-state guide, tape-recording laws at a glance, info on interstate phone calls and more. But what about other countries? One website says, in UK, the most fundamental requirement of this condition has been that every reasonable effort is made to inform all parties to a telephone conversation that it may or will be recorded. Per Rule 428 of the India telegraphic rules, no person without the sanction of the telegraph authority, use any telephone or cause or suffer it to be used, purposes other than the establishment of local or trunk calls. So is recording calls illegal in India?

Before you start recording that IP communications call, it *might be best to either find someone with an excellent memory (a good replacement for recording your calls but no good as legal evidence) or better... check the law. I wonder what Emily Post would say about video or audio recording? But then, just how badly do I want to be the Rosa Parks of anything over IP recording?

More information:
http://www.rcfp.org/taping/
http://www.retellrecorders.co.uk/legal/customers.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws

* I am not a legal expert and this blog post is not to be taken as legal advice.


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