Is Screen Recording Illegal on Computer? Any Copyright Infringement Here?

Bianca Willis Bianca Willis Updated on Feb 6 , 2024 Tag:

Is It Legal/Illegal to Record Screen

Yes, with the advancement of tech programs, you can technically screen record whatever happens on your mobile or PC screen. Then whether the screen recording illegal or legal, especially when you are capturing the streaming content online like YouTube (Live), Skype call, or Zoom meeting?

We can use our computers to do more and more things for work and entertainment. For this or that reason, we apply a screen recording application or service to save something crucial, funny, or educational to locals. However, when you undergo such a streamlined process, maybe you haven’t noticed or you are just wondering about the potential legal issues of this kind of behavior. Today, this post will focus on “Is screen recording illegal” thing and give you an overview of this topic. With everything under your belt, you can make your wise decision on whether to document the on-screen process or not, and what you can do with the recorded file. (See what’s screen recorder used for)

You can Record Any On-screen Activity or Content Made by Yourself

“Made by yourself” means you are the operator or content creator. Set some examples here, when you record your live broadcast on YouTube/twitch/FB for further usage, when you record your gameplay on PC for your channel followers, when you create video tutorials or software demos on the computer out of your desktop movement recording, or when you capture the online meeting launched by yourself, the screen recording is legal.

☛ RecMaster – Your Ideal Desktop Screen Recorder for Screencast

Screen recording at high quality used to be a hard job on computers. However, with the advent of various best screen recorder for Windows, it’s now as easy as ABC. You can free download RecMaster – the easiest yet feature-rich screen recorder here and create screencasts of any kind right away.

free download RecMaster for Windows free download RecMaster for Mac

Normally, most screen recorder apps are unfriendly to beginners for their advanced features and settings. RecMaster, with five necessary recording modes built-in, keeps it easy to grab any excellent game video, tutorial video, picture-in-picture guide, webcam presentation, or audio only.

Main UI

Screen Recording (Copyright Protected/Private) Media Is Theoretically Illegal Unless You Are Licensed.

The Internet not only gives people an easy way to access diversified media content like movies, TV shows, music, vlogger’s masterpieces and so forth, but also brings customers more convenient communication through online chatting apps. In these cases, as a streaming viewer or an online event attendee, screen recording is not just a personal thing, because it may break some rules or even laws. Let’s check some provisions of video hosting sites’ terms of use:

YouTube’s terms of service

“You are not allowed to access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, modify or otherwise use any part of the Service or any Content except: as expressly authorized by the Service; or with prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders.”

Zoom’s Terms

“You are solely responsible for Your and Your End Users’ use of the Services and shall abide by, and ensure compliance with, all Laws in connection with Your and each End User’s use of the Services, including but not limited to Laws related to recording, intellectual property, privacy and export control… You are responsible for compliance will all recording laws. The host can choose to record Zoom meetings and Webinars.”

Zoom's auto recording

Microsoft Services Agreement

“When you share Your Content with other people, you understand that they may be able to, on a worldwide basis, use, save, record, reproduce, broadcast, transmit, share, and display Your Content without compensating you. If you do not want others to have that ability, do not use the Services to share Your Content.”

Most media host sites share similar rules: you, without permission, can’t download, record, or copy the shared media. Even if you get them only for personal use, it violates the copyright vested with its original owner.

But the truth is there are still a large number of users worldwide who do such downloading or recording stuff in their daily lives. Since they only save them as personal files for memory or other aid, not re-uploading, sharing, distributing, or selling them elsewhere to have a negative influence on the content owner, no one cares about it or can do anything about this.

Recording video/voice calls, be it a general conversation between familiar or official web conferences, is somewhat different. Whether this call screen recording is illegal or not depends on the participant’s location and whether he or she gives consent to it. Like phone call recording, the related laws vary from state to US. That’s why online chatting and meeting apps like Zoom, GoToMeeting, MS Teams, and Skype only empower the conference host to record with their internal recording feature. If any attendee wants to enjoy this built-in functionality, he/she must get the permission of the host. They also give related notifications to all on such recording status. Just like Zoom’s words: “You will receive a notification (visual or otherwise) when recording is enabled. If you do not consent to being recorded, you can choose to leave the meeting or webinar.”

The Bottom Line

Everyone should respect copyright ownership, and not complying with legal restrictions may result in severe penalties, especially when money is involved. So when you are recording a screen containing artwork or the performance of somebody else, you’d better ask for permission or consent. If it’s really hard to contact or receive feedback, you should at least ensure 200% fair and personal use.

See Also:

Is Screen Recorder Safe to Use?
Desktop vs. Online Screen Recorder
Is YouTube Downloader/Converter Safe? You Take Your Chance

RecMaster – Record Every Moment on Your Computer Screen

RecMaster – Record Every Moment on Your Computer Screen

Multiple recording modes make it easy to capture anything on screen.

Record 1080p or even 4K clips at 60fps to maintain the high quality still.

Flexible settings for mouse cursor effects, watermark and annotations.

Preloaded with recording scheduler, video editor. Allow one-click sharing.

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Bianca Willis

Bianca Willis

Bianca Willis started her copywriting career since 2014. As a tech editor with over 6 years writing experience, she has worked out hundreds of posts on multi-media solutions (video recording included), hot gadgets and troubleshooting tips.

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