We provide call recording services to customers and record calls ourselves.
We know of OFCOM guidelines on this. We have set up at the office so that each member of staff records their calls individually for their own use and they alone get the call recording.
Alex recorded his call he made to Simplify Digital (well, he intended to call broadband.co.uk not Simplify Digital). See his blog post for details. He made the recording for his own use, and had no intention of publishing it.
I think that means, based on the OFCOM guidelines, that (a) he did not have to tell anyone he was making the recording, and (b) the making of the recording itself was legal at the time. I assume it cannot be made retrospectively illegal, can it?
Alex used the recording to ensure his memory of the call was correct when making the blog post, which is his personal use of the recording, so all OK there.
Then, his integrity was brought in to question by some of the commentators, and he felt the only way to prove what was said was to post the recording on the blog. To be clear, up until that point, he had no intention of publishing the recording.
I have been in the same position, making a recording for my own personal use with no intention to publish it, and then later publishing the recording. It is only after the call that I feel it should be published for review and comment publicly as a journalistic news item on my blog. When making the recording I have no intention of publishing it, else I would be publishing all my calls!
So, I think making the recording is all fine, what would be wrong with publishing it? The obvious one is copyright, which was itself raised by Simplify Digital.
Again, I am not a lawyer, but it seems there is a copyright in the sound recording itself. However, that copyright vests with the person that made the recording, i.e. Alex. What else could there be? Well, if the words used, even if made up on the spot, counted as a performance of a literary work, then they would be copyright too. I don't think the content of the call can really be called a literary work, but is it? If so, is quoting it, or even publishing the recording, a breach of copyright?
Thankfully they have stated to Alex that they will not take any action regarding the recording. Even if they did, they would have to contrive what damages they suffered by it on top of simply what was stated in the blog post, I think, so I don't think Alex has anything to worry about.
But, in theory, could this have been legally wrong, and if so why? I wonder.
Interested in any comments.